602 3rd Street East, Suite B
Bradenton, FL 34208
CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is the only site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions in the state of Florida and is dedicated to helping our regional employers meet the challenges of a fast-changing economy. Following the model of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, they take a sector-based approach. Through labor market analysis and a recently completed “Manufacturing Skills Gap Study” CareerEdge designated Manufacturing as their next focused sector.
One of the principal ways CareerEdge addresses the needs of our companies is by working to fill the "skill gaps" that prevent leading employers from achieving stronger rates of revenue growth. By addressing skill gaps you not only foster greater economic development by increasing production capacity for employers but you also help citizens of Sarasota County gain adequate training, knowledge and skills that will land them a job, increase their potential for upward mobility and contribute to a more prosperous community for everyone that works and lives here.
The Manufacturing Skills Gap Study was conducted by Stephanie Kempton of Kempton Research and Planning. Over 100 regional manufacturing employers participated in voicing their concerns over unfilled positions, lack of skilled and talented workers and expressed their need for more collaborative efforts from workforce entities. The results of this study indicated that 50% of employers created more full-time jobs this year than they had last year. Seventy-five percent of employers stated their number one concern was not having enough skilled production workers. This study validated the hypothesis of CareerEdge that not only are there jobs available in manufacturing but there is an abundance of potential career pathway opportunities.
Over the next few months CareerEdge will launch their Manufacturing Workforce Partnership. This partnership will bring educators, community agencies and companies together to collaborate on addressing skill gaps in manufacturing that have left many hard-working citizens of our County unemployed and unable to move forward in their careers. A first year minimal investment of $400,000 will be made by CareerEdge to accomplish the goals set by the companies operating in this region.
Manufacturing in Sarasota County has taken a new form. CareerEdge will work with the Manufacturing Association of Florida, Economic Development Corporation of Sarasota County, Sarasota County Government, The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, Suncoast Workforce, Sarasota County Technical Institute and State College of Florida to help rebrand the perception of what work in this industry is really like today. Manufacturing has evolved to include skilled professions and jobs pay much more than what they used to. There is now more potential than ever before for long-term success in this industry. Over the next year Sarasota County should anticipate witnessing the companies, who’ve been here for decades, large and small, become more prominent in this community than ever before.