Boeing Grant to Fund OJT, Boost Manufacturing

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A new grant to CareerEdge Funders Collaborative from Boeing will help employers cover training for manufacturing jobs in the region. Mireya Eavey, executive vice president of CareerEdge, said the funding provides both the opportunity to diversify the region’s economy and help local workers already working manufacturing lines to better themselves professionally.

“Someone can have an existing employee and want to assign them to a different area in a manufacturing plant,” Eavey explained. “They will need to train them for that, and we can provide half of the salaries to the employer. That will spur more upward mobility to individuals.”

CareerEdge can reimburse up to 50 percent of salaries up to $13 per hour and assist a total of 40 workers of job seekers over the course of the two-year grant from Boeing. The $125,000 in grant funding funds the program, which also prioritizes racial and gender diversity in the workforce and aims to develop employer leaders committed to building sustainable career development.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce initiative is one of two sites nationwide selected for Boeing’s grant program to up-skill and increase wages for manufacturing workers.

The success comes on the heels of successful efforts like a Newtown HVAC Fast-Track training program approved in April by the Sarasota City Commission. That program aimed to train workers in a program to take in-demand jobs in the air conditioning field.

Eaves said, with the pilot program, everyone was hired into jobs, a tremendous measure for even a small program. “And most of these guys won’t start at less than $16 an hour,” she notes. Some moved straight from the program into jobs paying $40,000 a year. 

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