Co-Invest for impact building a stronger community

At the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, we catalyze our network to co-invest in a set of integrated solutions that enable workers, employers, and communities to advance a skilled workforce, promote good jobs and invest in equitable outcomes. By using a co-investment model that leverages both private and public funding, our network of communities have greater resources to do the work. In this blog series, we will dig into some of the different co-investment models being used in the National Fund’s network of regional collaboratives.

The following conversation with Mireya Eavey, Executive Director of CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, highlights the unique strategies for co-investment in Sarasota. This conversation was edited for brevity.  Read Blog

Eavey: Growing tomorrow’s workforce in Sarasota County starts with career preparation

Mireya Eavey talks about the role of the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative to work with local employers to understand the skill sets needed in the workforce; translate that to educators; and work to “upskill” individuals.

It has been a long time since a high school diploma could help new graduates land decent-paying jobs.

Today’s reality is that local and nationwide employers are frustrated by the scarcity of new job applicants with the talent and education to help their companies grow.

The role of CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is to work with local employers to understand the skill sets needed in the workforce, to translate the information to educators, and work to “upskill” individuals by helping them attain credentials required to compete in today’s job market.

We focus on industries that are growing jobs and are projected to have steady growth into the future — health care, manufacturing, insurance and credentialed trades, such as HVAC, plumbing, machinist and auto mechanic.

These high-demand jobs require postsecondary education at a technical school, community college or university, can withstand economic swings, and will adapt with technological advances. Nobody wants students to train for jobs that will be obsolete in five years.

The sustained growth of these industries relies, in large part, on how well we succeed, as a community, in growing the workforce talent.

Our partnership with the Education Foundation of Sarasota County (EFSC) is important to this effort.  Read More


CareerEdge Develops Talent Recruitment Tools for Insurance Industry

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce development initiative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, recently launched a 15 insurance video series as part of a larger insurance industry talent recruitment campaign. The videos, which feature firsthand accounts of the diverse career opportunities found in the insurance industry, were created in response to a skill gap study and subsequent employer-based branding committee organized by CareerEdge.  Read More

How to make a quality impact on someone’s life

The Starfish Story
One day a man was walking along the beach when he notices a boy picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the boy, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up, and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they will die.”
“Son,” the man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, he said, “I made a difference for that one.” Read More

Training Provides Entryway To Insurance Industry

The insurance industry holds a surprising amount of opportunity in the Sarasota area, but even if people living here know that, how do they break in? A new program from CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and the Women’s Resource Center could help more people take their first step into a lucrative field.

Free 4-40 Customer Service Insurance Training, one of CareerEdge’s Bridges to Careers programs, will provide prospective job applicants with training to earn a key certificate for entry-level insurance employees. Working with State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota, a three-week class will be offered at the Women’s Resource Center in Sarasota.

It’s a certification many individuals earn through online prep and testing, but through the new program, students will work with an SCF instructor, and will hear from local insurance employers who come in as guest speakers. The first three-week class runs Oct. 21 through Nov. 7, with classes taking place from 9am to noon from Monday through Thursday. Read More

Grant assists empolyers with advanced manufacturing skills training

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce economic development initiative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce that works to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties, was selected to receive a $125,000 grant from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, funded by The Boeing Co. The grant’s specific purpose is for on-the-job training in high-demand advanced manufacturing skills.  Read more.

Boeing Grant to Fund OJT, Boost Manufacturing

A new grant to CareerEdge Funders Collaborative from Boeing will help employers cover training for manufacturing jobs in the region. Mireya Eavey, executive vice president of CareerEdge, said the funding provides both the opportunity to diversify the region’s economy and help local workers already working manufacturing lines to better themselves professionally. Read More