CareerEdge Prepares Grants for Skills Training

Todays News

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce on March 22 will open its annual process of requesting grant applications for its CareerEdge grants program. The organization is seeking plans from manufacturing, health care, insurance skilled trades and construction employers in Manatee and Sarasota, with a course laid out for how businesses will use the funding to increase skills and accelerate promotions while speeding job creation.

Grants of $15,000 to $50,000 will be available to implement programs that last up to a year.

Mireya Eavey, executive vice president of CareerEdge at the Chamber, said the program this year holds special importance.

“We are trying to get everybody back to work after COVID,” Eavey said. “A lot of people are re-skilling, probably because in their industries, they don’t have jobs, and they are looking to go into something a little more stable if something like this happens again.”

Over the past 11 years, the CareerEdge program co-invested almost $13.2 million to businesses in the region, dollars matched by employers themselves and outside contributions.

With the applications, Eavey said Career Edge will look at labor market studies and talk further with employers to verify the job openings that exist.

While many sectors of the economy in the region have suffered because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eavey noted that in other sectors, employers remain hungry for job applicants with the right skills. Many of those jobs could end up paying those laid off in the last year higher wages than they were earning before.

“CareerEdge’s mission is to invest in worker training to provide broader opportunities for individuals to learn new skills and earn certifications for higher earning potential,” Eavey said.

Businesses interested in the program should submit a letter of intent that includes the industry focus area, a plan to close skills gaps for new and existing employees, and a clear career ladder that shows how workers receiving training can climb in ranks. Preference will be given to Chamber members and those participating in the CareerEdge Industry Council. All applications must be submitted by April 20 at 5 p.m., and those receiving funding will hear back by mid-May.

 

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