CareerEdge’s Funders Collaborative and Partners Invest $1.5 million in Local Workforce Development

CareerEdge’s Funders Collaborative and partners invest $1.5 million in local workforce development

Sarasota-Bradenton, Florida (May 6, 2024) – CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce initiative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is proud to announce its 2023 efforts resulted in an economic impact of $2.7 million for the local economy. Their funding opportunities, unique programs and strategic partnerships with employers, educators, government officials, and community stakeholders are significantly contributing to the development of the region’s workforce.  The collaborative approach to local solutions led to outstanding ratings in several critical areas of the yearly evaluation.

CareerEdge’s 2023 Annual Evaluation shows the substantial impact to the Sarasota-Bradenton economy, including more than $1.5 million invested in workforce development, almost $1.8 million in added wages, 461 workers trained, the creation of 100 new jobs, 182 new employment opportunities and 344 new certifications earned.  The highly informative and detailed report includes other valuable metrics including demographics by gender, ethnicity, certifications earned by industry, and increases in annual wages per program.

Notably, CareerEdge observed a significant shift in training priorities, spurred by the evolving needs of the community. In 2023, there was a pronounced focus on enhancing leadership skills across various sectors, underlining the crucial role of leadership in team effectiveness, goal achievement, and reducing turnover. Internally, CareerEdge’s Leadership Academy program, aimed at developing emerging leaders, expanded into the insurance industry and saw increased engagement in manufacturing and healthcare. The Upskilling Workers Grant program experienced a similar increase, with a majority of employer applications citing retention as a challenge. This surge in demand for leadership programs underscores the growing recognition of leadership’s impact on workplace effectiveness and employee satisfaction.

Since its inception in 2010, CareerEdge and its employer partners have invested $17.2 million, providing trainings for 7,655 workers, resulting in 1,548 promotions, 4,951 raises and $40 million in workers’ aggregate annual earnings.

Overall, the evaluation data announces another year of achievement for CareerEdge’s innovative programs focused on tangible outcomes. By building workforce capacity through upskilling and additional credentials, and increased access to funding, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has improved pay scales and created a better standard of living in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

Elevate Data Consulting, an independent third party, conducted quantitative and qualitative analyses of the raw data, CareerEdge provided grant reports, and grant management database to produce the evaluation.  The Regional Input-Output Modeling System (RIMS-II), an Input-Output Multiplier dataset provided by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis, was used to estimate type II direct economic impacts of increased wages and jobs.

To access the full report, click here.

About CareerEdge Funders Collaborative

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations, leveraging public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties. CareerEdge is the workforce development initiative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit  or call 941.556.4045.

About the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization that exists to maximize our members’ success, the community’s competitiveness, and the area’s economic strengths. For more information, call (941) 955-8187 or visit online at