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Skills training program in Bradenton graduates 78 students

SCF's 26 West Center graduated 78 middle and high school students during a skills training and summer internship program.
SCF's 26 West Center graduated 78 middle and high school students during a skills training and summer internship program.
Photo by Lori Sax
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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A skills training and summer internship program saw the graduation of 78 middle and high school students. 

The four-part program, a partnership between the State College of Florida Manatee-Sarasota’s 26 West Center and CareerSource Suncoast, began on May 30. The students came from 28 schools across the Bradenton and Sarasota area. 

“Nothing is more important than developing our future workforce here in the Bradenton-Sarasota area,” says Todd Fritch, SCF executive vice president and provost, in a statement. “This unique experiential learning program gives our local middle and high school students a head start on their careers and helps local companies and organizations identify and grow future talent.” 

As part of the program, there was an interactive one-day workshop, a career fair with 18 local employers, six-week internships and weekly online assignments that received feedback from instructors. CareerSource Suncoast CEO Joshua Matlock says the partnership complements the organization’s summer youth employment program.

“We can offer youth that may not otherwise have access to these skills and experiences an opportunity to learn job skills in the classroom and the workplace,” he says in the release.

The 26 West Center, named for its address at 5840 26th St. W. in Bradenton, is a 40,000-square-foot space designed for entrepreneurs and small businesses. The $4.4 million project hosts seven business services, including a business growth lab, student incubator, entrepreneurship academy, personal branding lab, digital collective, coding academy and creative suite. 



Amanda Postma

Amanda Postma is a business reporter covering Sarasota and Manatee counties. After graduating from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in 2018, Amanda was a reporter for a small-town newspaper in Missouri before becoming a marketing associate for a career resource startup in St. Louis.

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