Creating Innovative Workforce Solutions: Express Training Programs

SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight


Given the high demand for skilled workers in our region, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is partnering with educational institutions to provide cutting-edge short-term “express” programs to quickly move individuals into apprenticeship-based occupations in the trades.

CareerEdge began working with Suncoast Technical College last fall on a tuition-free accelerated automotive technician course.  Employer partner Gettel Automotive hired the individuals with no experience at $12 per hour for trainee positions and then enrolled them in the CareerEdge-funded course at the college.  The program was such a success that six other local dealerships are participating in a second cohort of students in 2018, funded by CareerEdge through a Gulf Coast Community Foundation donor Walt Eppard.  According to Gettel Fixed Operations Director Fred Bartholomew, “It’s really a win-win for the community to have CareerEdge help facilitate recruiting and training programs for critical shortage occupations like automotive technicians.”

CareerEdge also partnered with Manatee Technical College on Plumbing and Electrician express programs, by helping to recruit individuals, providing funding for the courses and offering soft skills training for the students.  In the summer of 2017, when the program was launched, over 100 individuals came to the information session to learn about this offering, and the potential for a career in these growing fields. 

Currently, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is exploring this fast-track curricula in other high growth occupations, such as heating and air conditioning technicians (HVAC). CareerEdge continues to establish creative ways to connect people to in-demand career-laddering jobs while assisting employers with their workforce needs. To learn about these innovative workforce solutions, visit, or call Deborah Chapman (941)328-6985 or email at   


« View The Wednesday Apr 4, 2018 SRQ Daily Edition
« Back To SRQ Daily Archive

Other Articles in SRQ Story Project Partner Spotlight

Apr 8, 2019

A Family Dynasty