CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce development program of the Sarasota Chamber, made a $3.8 million economic impact in the local region in 2021, according to its 2021 Evaluation Report. The report details the results of its programs with cumulative data demonstrating its impact in local workforce over 11 years.
CareerEdge’s goals are to help low-skill and low-wage earners advance in their careers. It strives to reach the underserved and underemployed by providing funding for training and resources for career placement. In 2021, CareerEdge’s Bridges to Careers programs offered training in its targeted industries: healthcare, manufacturing, automotive, and skilled trades. Ninety-six people graduated from one or more of its programs; 50 percent of them were non-white/BIPOC and 25 percent were unemployed prior to the training. All participants averaged an increased hourly wage of $3.79 per hour post-training.
CareerEdge offers funding to employers for upskilling workers and wage reimbursement for on-the-job training and internships. The 2021 Upskilling Workers grant funding reached 398 workers across 403 trainings. These workers earned a total of 369 industry-recognized certifications and increased their hourly wages by 11.4 percent post-training. The wage increase equates to an additional $4,888 in earned income per worker in 2021, totaling an annual earnings gain of $1,945,424 across the local workforce.