State of Jobs Conference Set to Inspire Hundreds of Students



In two weeks, 1,000 high school students from Manatee and Sarasota counties will fill Robarts Arena for the 4th Annual State of Jobs Conference (SOJC.) It’s exciting to see how much this conference has grown since its launch in 2013, and in just 4 short years has become one of the largest student conferences in the country focused on college and career exploration. While SOJC was born in Sarasota, I am thrilled to bring Manatee County into the fold for the first time this year and impact a greater number of students.

SOJC provides high school students the opportunity to learn about leadership, career exploration, college preparation and career readiness. 75 business leaders from engineering, manufacturing, healthcare, information technology, arts, hospitality, tourism, insurance and business will spend the day providing insight into their industries and hands-on activities to expose attendees to the many career opportunities available in our region.

At CareerSource Suncoast we hear from employers daily about how difficult it is to find quality talent. Many are thinking of their immediate needs, but thankfully the mindset is shifting and companies are realizing how important it is to put a focus on priming the future workforce. By engaging with youth now, it gets employers ahead of the curve so they are not stuck in 2-3 years struggling to find talent for the right here and right now. That being said, it’s crucial that employers get involved with events like State of Jobs. We can’t put on an event of this magnitude without investment from the community – from employers who contribute financially, business leaders who volunteer their time and educational institutions who devote a day to connecting with high school students.

We don’t charge for students to attend. We even pay for transportation so the schools don’t have to dedicate buses for the day. It’s so important to me and CareerSource Suncoast that we provide a robust experience that will sticks with these students and motivates them to start preparing for their future now.

If you are interested in investing in the State of Jobs Conference and inspiring your future workforce, you can reach out to me at

A list of sponsors can be found at Be sure to check them out and support them for supporting us!

State of Jobs

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