CareerEdge, the workforce development initiative of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, has received a $125,000 grant from Gulf Coast Community Foundation to bolster its work in training and upskilling the local workforce. This grant extends the decade-long partnership between CareerEdge and Gulf Coast Community Foundation, which was a founding funder of CareerEdge and continues to be an active partner.

Training and certification opportunities for prospective and existing workers play a critical role in developing a robust regional workforce. CareerEdge will use grant funds for on-the-job training, internships, and apprenticeship salary subsidies for local employers, Fast-Track training, and employer grants for upskilling their current workforce. In the wake of COVID-19, these programs are more important than ever.
CareerEdge Fast-Track training is a way for employers to quickly fill in-demand openings while offering rapid credentialing and certifications critical within the industry. To do this, CareerEdge brings together employers and educational partners to identify the specific job skills needed in an industry for employer-led hands-on training.

CareerEdge Employer Grants are designated to help employers upskill and train their current workforce. One local manufacturing employer that received funding saw a 93 percent retention rate and 100 percent of its employees that completed training received wage increases. Another local health care employer used grant funds to hire entry-level employees and provide training opportunities for the employees. Upon successful completion of their Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) training, the employee receives a 25 percent pay increase over a one-year period. (Read)