Help wanted from manufacturers to identify skills gap in region’s workforce

MANATEE-SARASOTA, FL (May 21, 2012) – The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is putting up a “help wanted” sign for local manufacturers: Help us identify the jobs and skills you need to grow your companies.

CareerEdge will launch a survey on May 23 to understand and quantify the gap in skills for manufacturing jobs in Manatee and Sarasota counties.  Beginning Wednesday, manufacturers in the two-county region can access the online survey at  Both links go to the same survey.

The links also will be available on the CareerEdge website (, and via the websites of community partners including the two counties’ economic development corporations, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, and the Sarasota Manatee Manufacturers Association.  The quantitative survey will be supplemented with telephone interviews.

“We need this input from our region’s manufacturers, large and small, to best understand how we can improve the region’s manufacturing workforce,” said Mireya Eavey, executive director of CareerEdge.

Data generated through the survey will be compared with training resources available in the region.  The goal is to identify whether training currently exists and, if not, what must be changed or added by training partners to help manufacturers fill the skill gap, hire employees, and grow their companies.  The survey is being conducted by Sarasota’s Kempton Research and Planning.

Eavey notes that the innovative survey will be among the first of its kind to inventory and analyze the specific skill gap for the sector at such a local level.  “We have had help from the National Association of Manufacturers in designing the survey,” said Eavey.  “I don’t know of another survey like this that has drilled down to the regional level.