Two Experts weigh in on solutions for industry’s shortage of workers

Mary Dougherty and Mireya Eavey have been talking lately about the workforce shortage in the construction industry, and what can be done to relieve it.
Dougherty is the executive director of the 345-member Gulf Coast Builders Exchange, which represents and advocates for the building industry in Sarasota, Manatee and Charlotte counties. She has held that post since 2009.
Eavey is chief workforce officer at the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce. She resigned as Sarasota area president of United Way Suncoast in May when CareerEdge moved to the chamber.
In the Sarasota-Manatee region, 25,000 people were working in the construction sector in July, according to the latest state data. That was up by 1,600 workers over the year, but off from the July peak of 32,400 in 2006. States like Florida, where home values fell more sharply during the bust, experienced greater declines in their construction work forces.

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CareerEdge Offers Workforce Development Month Update

Nationwide, Workforce Development Month provides the opportunity to look at the current labor market and shine a light on approaches that are working to keep unemployment low and produce the skilled workers—and where they are working—to help more Americans connect to jobs and career pathways. CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with local organizations and The National Fund for Workforce Solutions to focus on the Sarasota/ Manatee region.  Currently, CareerEdge is partnering with the healthcare, manufacturing, construction, transportation and financial services sectors to implement strategies to close skills gaps and connect people to career-laddering occupations with family-sustaining wages.  Projects include fast-track technician trainings for automotive, air conditioning, plumbing, broadband and electrical, as well as funded certified nurse assistant programs.  CareerEdge also launched a skills gap study of the Insurance industry, and has convened a Regional Workforce Council of key stakeholders to address workforce policy.

Measurable outcomes from these efforts include: 233 employer partnerships established, 4,790 workers trained and/or served, $9.8 million invested in workforce development, 7,404 certifications earned and 1,369 new jobs created by funded employers.

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SRQ Magazine

Businesses Still Need a Skilled Workforce

According to the Florida Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index Survey, this is the sixth quarter in a row that employers are concerned about finding skilled workforce to meet open job demands.  Businesses are also wary of economic uncertainty.  The Florida Chamber of Commerce has been conducting these surveys to better understand the issues that are most important to small businesses.  Read the entire survey here.

CareerEdge Teams with Dealerships for Technician Program

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with a consortium of eight local automotive dealerships to provide a fast-track pathway to becoming an automotive technician.  With a shortage of mechanics, CareerEdge has worked with Suncoast Technical College (STC) to create an “express program” in the evenings so that entry-level employees can receive both on-the-job as well as classroom training.

The students for the class will be selected by the participating dealerships, Gettel Automotive, Sunset Auto Group, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota, Venice Honda, Wilde Automotive, Sarasota Mitsubishi, and Howard Lincoln and Mazda. These organizations will hire individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for full or part-time trainee positions.  The new hires must then attend the mandatory, free 11-week automotive training program at STC’s Beneva Road campus on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., from August 21 to October 30.

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Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sarasota Magazine

SRQ Magazine

Press Release

Fast Track Pathway to a Career

Steps to Apply:

  1. Click the blue button below labeled “Click to Apply,” which will open the flyer.
  2. On the flyer, click any of the dealership logos that you will be applying to work at. This will take you to each dealership’s employment posting page. 
  3. Apply to any or all of the participating dealerships by selecting the appropriate logos.

Sarasota, FL. (July 23, 2018): For those looking for an on-ramp to a career with upward mobility, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative has partnered with a consortium of eight local automotive dealerships to provide a fast-track pathway to becoming an automotive technician.  Given the shortage of mechanics, CareerEdge worked with Suncoast Technical College (STC) to create an “express program” in the evenings so that entry-level employees can receive both on-the-job as well as classroom training.

Participating employers include: Gettel Automotive, Sunset Auto Group, Peterson Toyota of Sarasota, Venice Honda, Wilde Automotive, Sarasota Mitsubishi, and Howard Lincoln and Mazda.  These organizations will hire individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for full or part-time trainee positions.  The new hires must then attend the mandatory, free 11-week automotive training program at STC’s Beneva Road campus on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m., from August 21 to October 30.

This is the third class of its kind CareerEdge has developed and is thrilled to have eight dealerships on board to offer individuals this rapid pathway to a career with strong wages and advancement opportunities,” says CareerEdge Executive Director Mireya Eavey.  “The automotive industry has really come together to solve the labor shortage with their willingness to invest in entry-level workers.”

Once participants complete the 11-week class, they will be paid $13 per hour full time with benefits and have the potential for additional industry certifications and growth at the dealerships.  Average wages for mechanics are between $40,000 and $50,000, with some earning upwards of six figures.

The training, which is funded by Gulf Coast Community Foundation donor Walt Eppard, is a revised version of the college’s year-long program and includes CareerEdge’s Bridges to Careers soft skills training, as well as financial education class.

No experience is required for this training and all interested applicants should apply directly to any or all of the participating dealerships using their online employment portals.  These organizations will screen and choose their new hires and then approve them for the funded evening class. All inquiries should be made directly to these employers.

CareerEdge Working With Employers to Develop Insurance Skills Gap Study

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is putting up a “help wanted” sign for local insurance companies, looking specifically for help identifying the jobs and skills local businesses need to grow their organizations. The results will inform the Insurance Skills Gap Study, which will contain data retrieved from employer roundtables and telephone interviews with local insurance industry leaders.

For more information on being involved in the Skills Gap Study please contact, Mireya Eavey, Chief Workforce Officer, meavey@SarasotaChamber.com

Read More About the Skills Gap Study

SRQ Magazine

Tampa Bay Business Journal

 

Help Wanted: Identify Skills Gaps in Region’s Insurance Industry

SARASOTA, FL (July 17, 2018) – The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is putting up a “help wanted” sign for local insurance companies: Help us identify the jobs and skills you need to grow your organization.

“A shortage of talent is one of the biggest impediments to growth in the insurance industry. We face a significant skills gap and are preparing to meet this business need. Deliberate action must be taken to recruit, retain and develop employees who can successfully execute against an organization’s strategy and vision. Insurers, like FCCI, are ready to tackle this challenge. A skills gap study will highlight the insurance industry’s talent demands so our region and its workforce can thrive,” said Lisa Krouse, Board member, EVP, Chief HR and Communications Officer at FCCI

The Insurance Skills Gap Study will contain data retrieved from employer roundtables and telephone interviews with local insurance industry leaders.  Training resources available in the region will be compared to the feedback and needs that employers mention in these interviews. The goal is to identify whether training currently exists and, if not, what must be changed or added by training partners to help insurance companies fill the skill gap, hire employees, and grow their companies. The survey is being conducted by Stephanie Kempton of Kempton Research and Planning.

In 2012 CareerEdge spearheaded a similar skills gap study for the manufacturing industry and it dramatically altered how our community understood the needs of those employers.  We now see that same potential in the insurance industry which, in the aggregate, produces a significant number of local jobs.  This new study will be the perfect stepping stone to support those employers by better understanding their needs,” explains Kevin Cooper, CEO and President of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

CareerEdge Funders Collaborative joined The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce earlier this year to expand workforce development initiatives like this to more industries.

CareerEdge Needs Assistance from Employers:

Commitment and participation from local employers during the research phase of this project is crucial and can lead to eye opening results.  CareerEdge requests that local organizations who are interested in joining this discussion should contact, Lauren Meyer, CareerEdge Program Coordinator, LMeyer@SarasotaChamber.com for further information.

Machining Program Hits Five Year Goal

 

In June 2018, Sarasota County’s Precision Machining Program at Suncoast Technical College completed its fifth program year by graduating 13 new machinists. The occasion was marked with a celebration as those graduates brought the program’s five-year total to 102 skilled workers having been trained locally.

These results are attributable to the trailblazing efforts made by CareerEdge Funders Collaborative and its partners to start this forward-thinking initiative in 2013. Sarasota County Government and the Sarasota County School District agreed to support the concept and established a goal to graduate 100 individuals from the program by the fifth year. Funding for the program’s equipment, which totaled $325,000, was provided by Sarasota County Government and CareerEdge supported the establishment of the program with $25,000 and additional funding for internships. In August 2013, the first Precision Machining program began at Suncoast Technical College and the newest class will start on August 13, 2018 with 18 machinists

Read More About the Program:

Sarasota Business Observer

Sarasota Herald Tribune

Sarasota Magazine

SRQ Magazine

SRQ Magazine Saturday Perspective

Suncoast Technical College Precision Machining Blog

Press Release

Which States Have the Top Talent?

Skill gaps are prevalent across the nation, and CNBC launched a new exclusive called America’s Top States for Business to study and examine workforce challenges in all 50 states.  One portion of the study shares details on the Top 10 States and who is “Winning the War on Talent”.  The top ten were calculated by comparing the number of available workers, which states are doing the best to attract them, available education, “Right to Work” laws and more.  Read more about the study here.

The Value of Inspiring Employers

The National Fund for Workforce Solution recently debuted a new #LIAW blog to showcase local investments at work.  The blog’s aim is to showcase collaborative members, and their work, across the nation.

CareerEdge had the opportunity to guest blog and share information on recent training and employer partnership strategies.  Read the blog here for more information.