Local workforce group pushes for $450,000

By GRACE GAGLIANO – ggagliano@bradenton.com

The CareerEdge Funders Collaborative Manatee Sarasota spent Wednesday showcasing its plans to train workers for higher-skilled, higher-paying jobs to a group of national workforce officials.

The local organization wants to gain national designation from the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, an accreditation that could bring $150,000 a year over the next three years for workforce training in the health care sector.

“Our mission is dedicated to moving low-wage workers into higher-paying jobs and getting employers the skilled workers they need,” said Mireya Eavey, director of CareerEdge. “At the end of the day, if we have a skilled workforce our employees will have more efficiency in the workplace.”

CareerEdge formed in October to help build a local talent pool for the health care industry. It has already secured more than $3 million from nine public and private investors.

The collaborative made its first distribution in April when it awarded five grants totaling $35,457 to local health care facilities.

Allyson Hostetler, a registered nurse at Tidewell Hospice, is one of 60 Tidewell nurses who is attending a training course on how to help patients with the physical, psychosocial and spiritual needs at the end of life.

“It’s an incredible opportunity and savings for us,” said Hostetler of the $19,350 grant that went to Tidewell. “This is giving us the education to have a better understanding of what the patient is going through. If we have a better understanding, the patient outcome is better.”

Fred Dedrick, executive director of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, will make a recommendation on the local chapter’s national designation at an investor meeting in September.

Aside from the funding CareerEdge could receive, Dedrick said the classification will give the local organization access to educational workshops and professional advising to move the group forward.

“I can see by today’s turnout how important this application is to you,” Dedrick said, of the estimated 50 business leaders in attendance. “We’re in the work of helping people find a career to support their families and that is incredibly important work. I request that you not think about it as a charity but think about CareerEdge as something that’s going to help build up your community to be successful.”

Read more: http://www.bradenton.com/2010/08/05/2483867/local-workforce-group-pushes-for.html#ixzz129e5EkWM