Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards CareerEdge $125,000 to Train and Upskill Local Workforce

Gulf Coast Community Foundation Awards CareerEdge $125,000 to Train and Upskill Local Workforce

Sarasota, Fla. (July 19, 2021) CareerEdge, the workforce development initiative of the Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, will continue its workforce efforts thanks to a $125,000 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation.  This grant award extends the 11-year-long partnership between CareerEdge and Gulf Coast, who was a founding investor in CareerEdge and continues to play an integral role in the region’s workforce development.

CareerEdge will use the grant funds for on-the-job training, internships, and salary subsidies for local employers.  They will also be used for CareerEdge’s Fast-Track training programs.  Fast-Track training is a way for employers to quickly fill in-demand job openings while offering rapid credentialing and certifications critical within the industry.

“Recently, the Florida Chamber of Commerce Workforce Needs Study found that 52% of our local employers said additional training is needed after hiring a new employee,” said Kristi Hoskinson, vice president of CareerEdge, at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.  “Gulf Coast’s generous support will allow CareerEdge to continue to offer Sarasota and Manatee businesses the opportunity to apply for grants to upskill and train their employees.”

The average wage gain of an employee benefiting from CareerEdge employer grant funding after their first year of training is 12%, according Hoskinson. “CareerEdge and its funders understand the role that training and certifications play in retention and want to ensure that employers can offer career-laddering opportunities to our workforce,” she said.

Gulf Coast Community Foundation’s cumulative support for CareerEdge now exceeds $1.5 million. The foundation was an inaugural investor when the initiative was launched back in 2009, and it has continued to help steer and fund CareerEdge since then.

“Workforce readiness and economic diversification remain priorities for our region—and therefore for Gulf Coast Community Foundation,” said Jon Thaxton, Gulf Coast’s senior vice president for community investment and co-chair of the CareerEdge Funders Committee. “CareerEdge continues to lead the way in providing responsive programs that help employers train workers for the future and provide them with career pathways.”