Articles by

Jennifer Carp

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    Knight Foundation supports CareerEdge, a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, to strengthen and expand high-impact workforce development initiatives. It efforts are aimed at helping move low-wage workers into higher-paying jobs in Florida’s Manatee-Sarasota region. Jennifer Carp, senior program director at CareerEdge, writes about the impact of the project’s first year. Above from (l) to (r) Cynetra Freeman, Felicia Hammonds, participants of the Bridges to Careers program, and Sandy Bond, a mentor from the Sarasota RSVP Program with the Senior Friendship Center of Sarasota. Photo Credit: Jessica Ruter. CareerEdge, a public-private entity that seeks to diminish skill gaps through a localized approached to decrease unemployment, has made significant strides in its first 14 months of operations.   More than 1,400 people received training that resulted in an economic impact of $8.5 million dollars in wages for the Sarasota and Bradenton region. Our significant gains in workforce development were recently covered in Florida Trend magazine. The article notes: “On the demand side, [CareerEdge] — funded by local businesses, foundation grants and charitable support — is playing an economic development role. When it appeared, for example, that Sarasota County’s offer of $400,000 in incentives might not be enough to keep a Health Management Associates central business office in Venice, CareerEdge sweetened the pot with an offer of $100,000 worth of job training for Health Management employees. The package ultimately helped preserve 148 jobs in the county with the company promising to add 217 more over the next two years.”