Providing In-Demand Skills for Innovative Product Production

Although many low-skilled manufacturing jobs have moved offshore, the U.S. is still the world’s top manufacturer, particularly for products that require a skilled production workforce.

The Manatee-Sarasota region is home to a variety of manufacturing enterprises. CareerEdge helps these businesses meet their skilled workforce requirements by partnering with a range of stakeholders to offer training opportunities. Learn more by exploring these programs.

Community-wide Initiatives Spearheaded by CareerEdge

In 2012, CareerEdge commissioned a Skill Gap study for the industry, and subsequently held a jobs forum to highlight the issues revealed by the survey’s results.

Click here to view the Manufacturing Skill Gap Study Presentation.

Click here to view the video of the Jobs, Jobs, Jobs Manufacturing Event.

Click here to view the Community-Wide Plan

Following up on the issues identified by the study, CareerEdge has spearheaded a community-wide plan to bring together key community leaders and employers in order to address these gaps. One of the largest gaps pinpointed was in precision machining.  CareerEdge brought together SCTI and employers who devised a veritably employer-led curriculum.  CareerEdge then brought $25,000 to the table to pay for equipment and persuaded Sarasota County commissioners to add another $328,000 in June 2013.

This was the first step in the community-wide plan which CareerEdge continues to drive.  The plan focuses on raising awareness of manufacturing careers among schools and job-seekers and integrates the findings emerging from its workforce collaborative to further refine educational offerings, curriculum and messaging for the sector.

Manufacturing Workforce Collaborative

Following on the success of the Healthcare Workforce Collaborative, CareerEdge has launched a similar forum to help better align education with employment within the industry.  The collaborative’s inaugural meeting was held in August 2013 and emerging skill gaps already presented themselves in areas of welding, soldering and industrial electrical.  It was also noted that in view of fragmentation of the local manufacturing industry, and its composition of many smaller companies, the needs for trainings are also fragmented.  Therefore, recognizing the imperative to aggregate these employer training needs, CareerEdge is now working on an online presence linked to this website which will help employers aggregate these needs so that we can help to fund high priority consortium trainings.  This page will be coming soon!


Manufacturing Employer Partnerships

In August 2013, CareerEdge approved its first round of manufacturing sector RFPs.  As a result, it has approved almost $150,000 in grants to five regional manufacturers in order to help 217 incumbent workers and job-seekers.  These funding grants are aimed at creating 139 new jobs and saving 110 local jobs.  Furthermore, It is expected that these funds will result in an increase of approximately $5.1 million in new wages to the Sarasota-Manatee economy.



PGT is the nation's leading manufacturer and supplier of residential impact-resistant windows and doors. Located in southwest Florida, PGT products are sold in the Eastern U.S., the Gulf Coast, the Caribbean, and other international markets. PGT aspires to develop innovative flexible solutions for all single-family, commercial, and multi-family buildings. With a philosophy based on strength and functionality without compromise on aesthetics, PGT is successful because of its devoted employees.

Tervis was started in 1946 by two Detroit engineers, Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis, who created the world's first insulated tumbler, using air as the insulating material between the two tumbler walls. The brand name Tervis comes from the last three letters of the two engineers' surnames (Cotter and Davis). The Winslow family purchased the product rights in the 1950s and incorporated The Tervis Tumbler Company in 1967, moving manufacturing to its current location in Florida. The Donelly family now operates the company as a privately-held firm. All Tervis products are made in the U.S.A., and come with an unconditional lifetime guarantee.

Berry Plastics was originally established in 1967 as Imperial Plastics and located in Evansville, Indiana. Berry Plastics has grown into a leading manufacturer of injection-molded plastic packaging, thermoformed products, flexible films and tapes and coatings.  Berry is very proud of its rich history.  It began more than three decades ago with a simple vision: to become the leading manufacturer of injection molded packaging in the United States. That vision has been realized and exceeded, and, today, Berry Plastics is comprised of four divisions: Engineered Materials, Flexible Packaging, Rigid Closed Top, and Rigid Open Top.

Air Products supplies industrial gases, performance materials, equipment and technology. Air Products is the world’s largest supplier of hydrogen and helium and has built leading global supply positions in growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, coal gasification, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. 

Mustang Vacuum is a global manufacturer of industrial scale vacuum deposition equipment, including sputtering systems, optical coating units, batch metallizers, and thin film solar tools.  Mustang operates globally through a highly qualified group of sales and service representatives and distributors. 

Radiant Power Corp is a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEICO Corporation, a rapidly growing New York Stock Exchange-traded company, engaged in certain niche segments of the aerospace, aviation and defense industries.  Radiant operates an FAA-certified repair station in Sarasota and, through its distribution partner, maintains inventory stocking locations all over the world, thereby providing 24/7 service and support for aerospace customers around the world. Radiant's engineering department includes design engineers experienced in sophisticated commercial aviation, military aviation and space power delivery, and control products.  

Eaton is a power management company providing energy-efficient solutions that help our customers effectively manage electrical, hydraulic and mechanical power. A global technology leader, Eaton acquired Cooper Industries plc in November 2012. The 2012 revenue of the combined companies was $21.8 billion on a pro forma basis. Eaton has approximately 102,000 employees and sells products to customers in more than 175 countries.

KHS is an international manufacturer of filling and packaging equipment for the beverage, food, and non-food sectors and holds a leading position within the industry. The German company was established in 1993 and hosts a local site in Sarasota.  At five plants within Germany, KHS develops and manufactures the full range of filling and packaging machines. High-performance systems and equipment for lower capacities are included in its portfolio.  



CareerEdge Manaufacturing