CareerEdge Boasts $20M in Boosted Wages



More than 4,000 workers over the past years completed training through the CareerEdge Funders Collaborative over the past seven years, resulting in more than $20 million work of increased earnings, according to a regional economic impact study released last week. “It’s evidence to show the system changes we have made in the community,” says Mireya Eavey, CareerEdge executive director.

As the program continues, continued efforts in boosting credentials within the nursing profession will drive efforts at the collaborative, according to Eavey. The study noted that 52 percent of nurses at Sarasota Memorial Hospital now hold bachelor’s degrees, putting the hospital ahead of the state average. CareerEdge in particular helped enrolled 88 nurses in bachelor’s programs, and has seen 52 graduate since CareerEdge launched in 2010. 

Health care became the first major industry targeted by CareerEdge because at the peak of the recession, that professional field was among the only ones in the region with high demand for more employees. Eavey notes that as participants in CareerEdge programs build their credentials and get promoted into higher positions on the career ladder, it creates more entry-level job openings in fields as well.

“Wage increases then translate into economic impact in our community and help determine whether someone can buy a house, build assets, have greater savings,” Eavey says. “The wages help the economy all around.” In health care in particular, she says, the improvements also help the overall health of the community, producing additional economic and cultural benefits to the Gulf Coast. It’s helped further the reputation of Sarasota Memorial, Eavey says, and contributed to the public hospital being one of the highest rated institutions in the state.

The report also noted gains in young adult learning, with the program helping to cover the cost of internships for 90 interns at 44 area employers. Surveys of the interns showed satisfaction in the learning provided at employees and confidence in their own professional futures. 

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