Inspiring Students, Building a Talent Pipeline



It doesn’t matter where you drive, “Hiring Now” signs are everywhere. With unemployment at record lows, companies are grasping for employees’ ready to join the workforce. Workforce committees and councils across our community are discussing ways to attract workers to the region but failing short with limited attainable housing and lower wages then other parts of the country. That’s why it’s essential to focus on those already living in the region and help expose students to opportunities right here on the Gulfcoast. 

We’re excited to host our 5th Annual State of Jobs Conference on Oct. 30 at Robarts Arena. This year, we’re expected nearly 1,200 high school students from Manatee, Sarasota, and Desoto Counties. Students attending come from public, private and charter schools and have an opportunity to select great industries to learn from expert business leaders from this community. Tracks include arts/design, information technology, business, healthcare, engineering, and hospitality. We have another impressive lineup of incredible companies helping us lead the charge on the conversation including Plymouth Harbor, PGT Innovations, Bealls, FCCI Insurance, Dealers United, Visit Sarasota County, FPL and more.

Our goal is to provide students with an opportunity to have a real conference experience, learn about the industries they’re most interested in, and network with some of the area’s top business leaders. Over the past five years, we’ve received story after story on how this event has helped change a student’s perspective on the trajectory of their future. It’s amazing how a one-day event may mean everything to one student. For details about the 2018 State of Jobs Conference, visit

Chris Laney is the director of Education & Community Investment at CareerSource Suncoast.

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