The Campaign for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Funds $100,000 to Support Construction Skills Training in the Newtown Community

The Campaign for Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Funds $100,000 to Support Construction Skills Training in the Newtown Community

SARASOTA, Fla. (January 13, 2021) — CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce development program of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, is gearing up to launch a first-ever core construction skills training program in the Newtown community thanks to $100,000 in funding assistance provided by Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

CareerEdge will use the funding to train approximately 40 Sarasota city and county residents over two years to earn industry-recognized credentials, as well as provide them life and career skills training and financial education. Upon completion of CareerEdge’s 80-hour “Bridges to Careers” course, the participants will be considered for job opportunities by the local subcontractors working on Selby Gardens’ Master Plan project.

The training and job-placement initiative is made possible through the fundraising campaign for Selby Gardens’ Master Plan and the many donors who have contributed to it.

“We are so excited about the investment Marie Selby Botanical Gardens is making in workforce, specifically in our local community,” said Kristi Hoskinson, vice president of CareerEdge. “Their generous funding will help train underserved individuals in key skills so they can find employment in construction-focused careers. We are confident this will lead to long-term career stability and enhanced earning potential for the individuals who complete the training.”

Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, said, “Our Master Plan is all about sustainability, and this workforce partnership will give community members the skills and access to enter a career pathway with family-sustaining wages. We know our project will create many jobs and drive economic impact, and we want to prioritize those opportunities locally. The generous donors who have contributed to our campaign are investing in the future of their neighbors as well as the future of Selby Gardens.”

The funding also opens doors to additional partnerships in the community, according to CareerEdge. The training will take place at Goodwill Manasota’s Selby Newtown location, for example, and the Goodwill team will assist with recruiting participants for the training programs and support the job-placement process. CareerEdge has selected Technical Education Council (TEC) to be the local training provider, focusing on curriculum designed by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). NCCER is recognized by the construction industry as the leader in training, assessment, certification, and career development.

CareerEdge is hosting an informational session on Tuesday, January 25, at 5:30 p.m. at the Goodwill Manasota Selby Newtown center for anyone who would like to learn more about this unique training program. Online applications are now open for the first training cohort, which begins March 1 and runs through May 5. Classes are instructed in-person from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.