Negative Impact of SB 1252 on MTC

Negative Impact of SB 1252 on MTC

If passed, SB 1252 will force Manatee Technical College to drop “college” from its name. This bill undermines the reasons for changing the name to college to begin with, goes against a local decision, confuses potential students, and creates undue financial burden on the college and community.  

Undermines reasons for changing the name from Institute to College in 2014:  Vocational-technical centers were established in the sixties in Florida.  Most changed their names to technical institutes in the nineties and to technical colleges in the past year.  Each name change is a reflection of the times.  Most of the southern States, and many other parts of the country, changed the names of their career and technical centers to technical colleges years earlier.  Approximately 70 percent of our programs have articulation agreements with the state college(s) to award college credit that students earn from their MTC coursework when they are accepted by the state college; our college name more readily communicates that fact to students.  This bill would take away the right for MTC to offer Applied Associate’s Degrees, which has been instrumental in filling local jobs in our area. 

Goes against a local decision:  The name change to College in 2014 had the support of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation, Manatee County Chamber of Commerce, the Bradenton Herald, area business and industry, the Manatee County School Board, the college’s Board of Governors, faculty, staff, and students.

Creates confusion:  If this bill passes, it suggests that Manatee Technical College (MTC) change its name to Manatee Career Center (MCC) or return to Manatee Technical Institute.   The vast majority of MTC students were so excited for the name change from Institute to College—it carries meaning for them that goes deep and impacts their self-esteem.  As one student stated when we were in the process of changing the name from institute to college, “I’ll be so glad when people quit thinking I don’t have a high school diploma or stop asking me when I’m going to get out of the institution.”

Imposes a financial burden on the college and community:  Manatee Technical College has just spent thousands of dollars to change signage and will have to spend thousands to change it again in the space of less than a year.  MTC is anticipating an increase in enrollment next year due to the name change, as experienced by technical colleges in other states.  The loss of increased enrollment will mean a potential loss of jobs and an increased challenge in meeting the demands of local employers.  The financial impact of that is enormous and far reaching at a time when business and industry is expanding their reliance on the college to meet local employment demands for a skilled workforce.

I encourage you to not support this bill as we need a well trained workforce in Manatee County and this bill will hurt many great things that have taken place on our road to train our community for employment.

New partnership to offer warehouse and distribution certifications

By Michael Pollick

Published: Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 5:05 p.m.

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative of Bradenton and St. Petersburg College have formed a new joint venture aimed at getting 300 workers certified to work in supply-chain jobs in the next two years.

The new deal for would-be workers is called “TDL Tampa Bay,” or “transportation, distribution and logistics.”

While this specific partnership is with a Pinellas County institution, CareerEdge Funders executive director Mireya Eavey emphasized that State College of Florida and other schools also will be involved, and that the job seekers to be helped are to be from Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties as well as from Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

St. Petersburg College, as part of a consortium of a dozen colleges nationwide, has been working on eight new career certification courses since 2013, with funding from the Department of Labor. The college has 10 campuses throughout Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.

Meanwhile, CareerEdge, which has its offices at State College of Florida’s Lakewood Ranch campus, has lined up a $220,000 starter grant for the new partnership from a national non-profit group called Jobs for the Future.

“These are brand-new industry certifications that will assist the unemployed and underemployed in getting entry or mid-level positions in the supply chain,” said Marta Przyborowski, who runs the St. Petersburg College program from the school’s main office in Clearwater.

Of the eight new certifications, two have been rolled out: “supply chain management principles” and “warehousing operations.”

Studying online

Much of the coursework will be done online through WebEx, a live interactive video meeting system developed by Cisco Systems Inc..

“Say some people at PGT are going to take this class,” Eavey said, referring to the Venice-based hurricane-resistant window and door maker. “Their employees will go to a classroom and the live WebEx will be in the classroom. We are bringing the classroom here by WebEx and technology.”

The supply chain course is being taught entirely online. Warehousing operations will be taught through a combination of classroom and online instruction.

Other courses will help workers earn industry-recognized credentials such as a Commercial Drivers License, or CDL, or to become a Global Logistics Associate. Some of the courses will allow students to earn college credit leading to an associate’s degree in transportation, distribution and logistics.

The funding is money that could go to pay tuition starting today, Eavey said.

Other sources of money are lining up to support the TDL partnership, she said.

Ready to hire

At Sarasota County’s Gold Coast Eagle Distributing, human resources director Leslie Heller said her company already is in line for the partnership’s newly certified workers.

She says she could hire five Class A CDL-licensed truck drivers who have customer service experience if they walked into the office today.

“You can have a good driver, but you have to be able to communicate with the customers,” Heller said. “They are representing Gold Coast Eagle at that moment.”

Eavey said she is also in communication with Bealls Inc., the Bradenton-based department store operator, and with PGT regarding their training needs.

Meanwhile, CareerEdge expects to continue to enhance its working relationship with State College of Florida, which has been a partner since 2010.

That school’s Corporate and Community Development division now offers related certifications, such as “Certified in Production and Inventory Management.”

“We’re pleased to continue in our partnership with CareerEdge and educational partners to understand employers’ perspectives and needs and provide the best training to meet the workforce demands in our area,” SCF President Carol F. Probstfeld said.


New partnership targets 300 supply chain jobs


March 04, 2015

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative in Manatee County and St. Petersburg College have formed a workforce-training partnership aimed at supply chain management jobs.

The partnership, TDL Tampa Bay, targets the region’s growing transportation, distribution and logistics workforce, according to a release. The program will serve employers and workers throughout the Tampa region, with emphasis on
Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. The area forecasts a 13.8% growth in transportation, distribution and logistics jobs by 2021, the release adds.

This is the first time SPC, which offers a supply chain management academic program, and CareerEdge, based at State College of Florida in Manatee County, have teamed up to provide workforce training. CareerEdge is a partnership of business, government and philanthropic organizations that utilizes public and private dollars to run workforce training and other job-related programs.

“This partnership will be a true asset as we strive to train our students to meet the burgeoning demand for a skilled supply chain workforce,” St. Petersburg College President Bill Law says in the release. “This strikes at the very heart of our efforts at the college — to help students enter or re-enter the workforce with the skills they need to build careers in high-demand industries.”

Funding for the program comes through a grant from Jobs for the Future, a Boston-based nonprofit that focuses on skills and credentials, mostly in a lower-income, young adult demographic, in 42 states. Jobs for the Future awarded CareerEdge $220,000 to train 300 individuals over the next two years and provide support and job placement services in the Tampa region. The partnership will also connect underrepresented populations to the industry, the release states, with each site committing to serve at least 25% female participants.

Workers in the program will have the opportunity to earn industry-recognized credentials, including a commercial driver’s license and global logistics associate certificate. There will also be opportunities to earn college credits that lead toward an associate’s degree in TDL.

Visit Original Article 


CareerEdge and St. Petersburg College Partner to Provide Supply Chain Management Workforce Training

March 2, 2015 (Sarasota, FL) – CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and St. Petersburg College (SPC) have partnered to provide training to strengthen the region’s growing transportation, distribution and logistics (TDL) workforce. The partnership, TDL Tampa Bay, is funded through a grant CareerEdge received from Jobs for the Future. CareerEdge has been awarded $220,000 to train 300 individuals over the next two years and provide them support and job placement services in the Tampa Bay, Sarasota and Manatee Region. The projects will connect underrepresented populations to the industry, with each site committing to serve at least 25 percent female participants.
This is the first time SPC and CareerEdge, which is housed at State College of Florida in Manatee County, have partnered to provide workforce training. TDL Tampa Bay, will serve employers and workers throughout Florida’s eight-county Tampa Bay region, with priority emphasis on Manatee, Sarasota, Pinellas and Hillsborough counties, which forecasts a 13.8% growth in TDL jobs by 2021.

The 10 workforce partnerships include strong participation from TDL businesses in both design and implementation, to ensure that individuals complete programs with skills and certifications that are in-demand in their regional labor market. Workers will earn industry-recognized credentials such as a Commercial Driver’s License and Global Logistics Associate certificate, and many will also earn college credits that lead toward Associate’s degrees in TDL.
TDL Tampa Bay will capitalize on both organization’s strengths, pairing CareerEdge’s expertise in helping area employers meet the challenges of a fast-changing economy and SPC’s LINCS Supply Chain Management academic program. “This partnership will be a true asset as we strive to train our students to meet the burgeoning demand for a skilled supply chain workforce,” said St. Petersburg College President Bill Law. “This strikes at the very heart of our efforts at the college – to help students enter or re-enter the workforce with the skills they need to build careers in high-demand industries.”

Leadership training offered to local healthcare companies

Healthcare companies offered training

MANATEE — CareerEdge Funders, in partnership with Gulf Coast Community Foundation, is funding a Leadership Training program through State College of Florida for emerging leaders in the healthcare sector.

Participants include representatives from Sarasota Memorial Hospital, Manatee Memorial Hospital, Venice Regional Bayfront Health, Doctors Hospital, Blake Medical Center, Manatee County Health Department, and Manatee Glens.

The program is part of the Sarasota Manatee Healthcare Collaborative, a consortium of local healthcare organizations led by CareerEdge.

The leadership training will help participants learn how to maximize their supervisory effectiveness by providing them with skills in areas such as coaching, communication, motivation and change management. The program is a six-session series, running every other week from October to December.

OceanGrip to partner with Legacy Paddlesports

SARASOTA — OceanGrip, a leading manufacturer of high-quality, marine-grade non-skid padding protection, was selected as the original equipment manufacturer for Legacy Paddlesports’ Native Watercraft kayak line.

The company will provide non-skid padding for all Native Watercraft kayaks.

IMG Academy names head of sports science

BRADENTON — Clive Brewer an applied sport scientist and strength and conditioning expert has been named head of sports science at IMG Academy.

As head of sport science, Brewer will lead a systemized approach to data collection, analysis and application to drive IMG’s science-based approach to performance training.

Brewer will also draw upon his coaching education experience to design and implement programming for coaches at all levels. Brewer will work in conjunction with IMG staff and its performance partners to design and implement sports science initiatives.

Brewer will begin his new role in November.

— Herald staff reports

Bradenton business investment into CareerEdge is paying off

BRADENTON — It may not be easy to find a common thread that ties a capital-driven group of businesses and a socially driven community organization together — except when the shared interest is the success of long-term investments.

Even the definition of investment may differ between an organization like the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority and CareerEdge, a nonprofit organization that provides employment skills to untrained workers. But the DDA’s $200,000 investment hopes over the past four years in CareerEdge and the nonprofit’s goals are the same.

Investment for all is in the local workforce and it’s paying off in a big way, according to Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge.

Eavey was the executive director when the organization was founded in 2010 to serve Manatee and Sarasota counties under the umbrella of the national Workforce Solutions program. Eavey left the organization for a short time, but returned with good news for the DDA in her first annual report since resuming her role.

“When CareerEdge first began 3 1/2 years ago, I realize DDA took a gamble, not knowing if the program would work,” said Eavey. “I’m here to say ‘Thank you.’ You took a chance and it paid off.”

Eavey presented the organization’s annual progress report to the DDA board of directors Tuesday at city hall.

David Gustafson, DDA executive director, reintroduced Eavey to the board, saying her tenacity in helping people improve their lives is unmatched.

“She really makes a difference in the community and she certainly changes people’s lives,” said Gustafson.

Eavey said when CareerEdge first began in 2010, the three-year goal was to train 300 people for skilled employment positions. They’ve done a little better than those original goals.

“We have since served 2,123 people who have earned 4,984 different types of certificates to become eligible for specific employment opportunities by taking 7,189 classes,” she said.

So what does mean to business and the local economy?

It means a steady stream of trained workers who have gone from either low-wage jobs or being unemployed, to putting more than $5.6 million in wages earned back into the community.

Eavey said those investments have been key to the ongoing, award-winning success of the agency, but CareerEdge would never exist without the initial $1 million investment from the Knight Foundation.

“From there, the CCRA came on board and then the DDA,” said Eavey. “We also are the only organization of our kind housed by the city government and that has been the kind of great support we have had from the city and Mayor Wayne Poston.”

Vernon DeSear, DDA board chair, said it’s been a good collaboration and a positive for the community.

“Most important to us is that we see the results in creating a better work ethic,” he said. “People who participate in this program are clearly more engaged in their jobs.”

Gustafson agreed and said there has to be measurable successes to determine whether an investment has worked. In the case of CareerEdge, Gustafson said it was clear the DDA investment is paying off in skilled workers and an increase to the local economy.

“But there is an emotional side to this, as well, to get to see people succeed,” he said.

When an entity like CCRA or DDA invests, Eavey said, the money must go to training workers for businesses within those districts. She cited Manatee County Memorial Hospital as an example of benefitting from CareerEdge training health care workers.

“That kind of effort will continue,” she said. “But the goals of the future are to move low-wage employees into higher paid jobs and create system-change partnerships with businesses and community-based organizations.

Also, we want to expand our Bridges to Career program, which educates potential employees in how to interview and present themselves to a potential employer.”

And if Eavey is correct, there may be more employers available in specific markets soon.

“Transportation and logistics are the fastest-growing industry sectors in the county right now,” said Eavey. “That’s what we are looking at next in investing.”

$150,000 Awarded to Train 217 Workers in Needed Skills

The biggest of those grants went to Air Products and Chemicals, which is gearing up to make giant liquid natural gas conversion devices in Manatee County, near Port Manatee.

CareerEdge also made grants to four other existing manufacturers in the region: Radiant Power, Mustang Vacuum Systems, Eaton Aerospace and KHS.

The grants, the nonprofit noted, will train 217 workers and save 110 jobs in Southwest Florida.

Pennsylvania-based Air Products plans an eventual payroll of 250 or more in Manatee County — with an average wage above the county’s median — and has begun hiring welders and other skilled workers.

CareerEdge joined the worker recruitment effort, in conjunction with the Manatee Technical Institute and the Suncoast Workforce Board, to provide the skills necessary to ensure Air Products’ successful move to the region.

“One of Air Products’ main concerns was whether we would have the talent pool necessary to grow the business if we relocated to Manatee,” said Bill Jurena, plant manager for Air Products’ new facility.

“We were able to get assistance with access and funding for the necessary training resources to begin developing the welding skills necessary to meet our needs.”

CareerEdge’s grant to Air Products covers training for 110 welders and 20 manufacturing technicians.

“This is an example of collaboration at its best,” said Sharon Hillstrom, president and CEO of the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation.

Grant recipient Mustang Vacuum makes highly specialized machinery that can put shiny chrome coatings on plastic parts.

“For over four years, Mustang Vacuum has struggled to get the necessary training to expand our highly specialized production,” said Brent McGary, purchasing and inventory manager at the company.

The grant from CareerEdge “has been the catalyst” for Mustang to develop long-delayed training programs essential to its growth, he said.

CareerEdge this month launched the Manufacturing Workforce Collaborative, a group whose mission is to help keep track of the skills that the region’s manufacturers need.

The group also plans to communicate with workers about what training may be required for specific jobs and help them obtain those positions.

Already, Sarasota County Technical Institute has used a CareerEdge study to identify a countywide need for machinists. It also used CareerEdge data to lobby Sarasota County officials to fund new classes.

“The current misperception about manufacturing is that it is repetitive, dirty and lacking in real opportunity,” said Nathalie deWolf, executive director of CareerEdge. “The reality couldn’t be further from that.”

CareerEdge to receive National Attention

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, a Bradenton-based group formed to bring workers and employers together, has received an economic development award for its efforts.

The International Economic Development Council will give CareerEdge its Human Capital Program Award to recognize the group’s work in workforce development. CareerEdge will be given the award during the council’s annual conference, scheduled for October in Philadelphia.

CareerEdge works to identify employers’ needs and then channel funding to improve regional workers’ skills to meet those needs.

As workers become better trained and more skilled, CareerEdge believes, they will be qualified for promotion, creating openings for entry-level workers.

In the last three years, CareerEdge has focused particularly on finding and training health care workers and identifying skill gaps in manufacturing.

“We are delighted to accept the award, in that it is actual national recognition of what we have achieved here locally,” said CareerEdge executive director Nathalie deWolf. “And we are really grateful to our funders for having the vision and the tenacity to help us achieve this success.”

Formed in 2009, CareerEdge is one of only 31 collaboratives across the United States funded by the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

Locally, the group gets financial support from a wide range of donors, such as the Gulf Coast Community Foundation; the Bradenton Downtown Development Authority; the Central Community Redevelopment Agency of Bradenton; Manatee Community Action Agency; and Sarasota County government.

CareerEdge has raised $3.8 million since its inception.

One current focus is on expanding a program called “Bridges to Careers” from Manatee County into Sarasota County. For that program, CareerEdge’s partner is the Suncoast Workforce Board, which operates a trio of local employment centers.

“We try to take entry-level job seekers and guide them toward vocational programs,” deWolf said.

The idea is to give job seekers basic job-readiness training and then vocational training.

“It was only funded in Manatee,” she said. “We will do a similar outreach in Sarasota, rolling it out in October.”

Precision-machining lab is result of great cooperation

The finishing touches are being put on a new precision-machining lab at the Sarasota County Technical Institute. But as important as that training program is to filling a serious shortage of high-skilled manufacturing employees locally, the way it came about and what it says about what happens when organizations work together in our community might be just as significant.

The difficulty that small and mid-size manufacturers have finding skilled machinists had become apparent anecdotally. But that is not enough for the school district to commit its limited resources, and so CareerEdge was approached for a study.

“Part of the impetus behind the CareerEdge study was to provide the school district with the data needed to support the manufacturing training,” said Todd Bowden, executive director of career technical and adult education at SCTI.

It did just that.

CareerEdge, a privately funded workforce-development group that focuses on harnessing a community’s full resources, hired Kempton Research and Planning to conduct a skills-gap study. The results were clear.

When asked about the greatest hiring challenges over next three to five years, 38 percent of manufacturing companies named skilled production workers as the most difficult to find — twice the number who answered engineers and four times the number who said sales and marketing people. And 75 percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed that schools are not preparing workers with skills needed in manufacturing.

“The study was definitive that the jobs were here in this community,” Bowden said. He moved swiftly to make a change-order in a building already under construction to accommodate the new machining program’s lab.

CareerEdge — the only organization of its kind in Florida as part of the national Funders Collaborative — helped put together the workgroup that began searching for the best solution. The group included: CareerEdge; Sarasota & Manatee Area Manufacturers Association; SCTI and the Sarasota County School Board; Suncoast Workforce Board; Sarasota County Commission; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; and Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County.

“From the very beginning, there was a spirit of cooperation,” said Jeff Maultsby, director of business and economic development for Sarasota County. “It was really a model effort on how things can be done and should be done.”

The local manufacturers’ organization, SAMA, played a crucial role, representing the 600 manufacturers in the two-county area. Jennifer Behrens Schmidt, president of SAMA and of Venice-based Atlantic Mold & Machining Corp., dug in with SCTI to help move things along, including the development of the precision machining training program. She probably logged the most hours on a volunteer basis.

In an unusual move, local manufacturing leaders were instrumental in creating the materials needed by the program. It was an employer-led curriculum. That cut the cost of machinery in half, because the people in the field knew what was, and was not, needed.

The whole effort concluded with the Sarasota County Commission approving $343,500 to buy the machining equipment that will make the SCTI program work. Commissioner Christine Robinson made the initial motion in the process, and she was supported by Commissioner Joe Barbetta and the entire commission. That followed an even larger commitment of $655,000 by the School Board — a difficult decision in tight budget times.

“In less than a year from release of the study, the first student will enroll in the program,” Bowden said. “That is a breakneck pace in my line of work.”

The one-year program can handle 25 students at a time. Before it was even listed as available, it had filled up and had a waiting list.

There is one last key step to be taken: “The true confirmation will be when that first class graduates next year and they get jobs,” Bowden said.

The way so many different facets of the community, both in the public and the private sector, saw the need and pulled together to make this program a quick reality is an encouraging sign for the future.

Contact Mark Huey, president and chief executive officer of the Economic Development Corp. of Sarasota County, at mhuey@ EDC is the public/private partnership leading economic diversification efforts by working with community and regional partners.

BUSINESS BUZZ: CareerEdge; dental hygienist anesthesia course; Red Hott Press; Manatee Glens

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative of Manatee and Sarasota counties has received the 2013 Chairman’s Award for Exemplary Collaborative from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, a national philanthropic initiative.

CareerEdge said it was chosen for its measurable results in job and skill training in growth industries, in some cases exceeding its goals by more than 200 percent.

National Fund for Workforce Solutions chairman John Padilla said CareerEdge “embodies the award’s spirit, bringing together employers, educators, government, service providers and philanthropic organizations to deliver education and training services that are advancing the careers of lower-income workers and building system capacity.”

Nathalie deWolf, CareerEdge executive director, stressed that the organization’s results are independently verified. A recent study by Urban Market Ventures showed that the $1.54 million in training grants made by CareerEdge over two years added some $14.5 million to the Gulf Coast economy.

Three U.S. organizations received the Chairman’s Award.

 Dental-hygienist anesthesia course

The deadline is Friday to sign up for a course to meet a new state requirement that allows registered dental hygienists to administer local anesthesia under the supervision of a licensed dentist.

“Local Anesthesia: A Course for Dental Hygienists” will be offered 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 6-9 by the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota Dental Hygiene Program.

The fee of $1,495 includes breakfast and lunch each day. Registration can be done by phone, mail or in person.

For more information, call the college’s Corporate and Community Development Division at 752-5203, email Cindy Hunter, director of Continuing and Community Education, at or go to

 See your logo on promotions

Red Hott Press, of Sarasota, says it has a new Web solution at that allows businesses, schools and not-for-profit organizations to see their logos on more than 100,000 promotional products.

The new site features a progressive Web design and Payment Card Industry-compliant e-commerce for secure online orders. The site also has videos showing how promotional products work.

 Manatee Glens accreditation

The Florida Department of Children and Families gave “Excellent” performance ratings for standards and practices, and client records, in the residential detox program at Manatee Glens Hospital & Addiction Center, in Bradenton.

Now, in addition to the Manatee Glens Hospital and Outpatient Detox, clients can choose to go through detoxification as a resident in the private Addiction Center, Manatee Glens said.