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$100,000 investment puts 18 students through construction trades training

The majority received job offers before even completing the program.


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  • | 11:08 a.m. March 31, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The most recent class graduated 10 students in December.
The most recent class graduated 10 students in December.
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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With the help of a $100,000 investment, 18 individuals were able to graduate from a tuition-free construction trades training program. 

The training was provided by Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s workforce development initiative CareerEdge, through its Bridges to Careers program. The majority received job offers before graduation, according to a press release. 

Selby Gardens, a bayfront botanical gardens in Sarasota, supported two training programs, the most recent graduating 10 students with a focus on electrical trades. That program concluded in December, with each graduate earning a Level 1 Electrical Apprenticeship. One graduate in particular, Oliver McNeal, is now a full time facilities coordinator for Selby Gardens, the release states, 

The first training provided last year saw eight individuals complete the training, gaining core construction skills. Of the eight, two were immediately hired by a subcontractor working on the project site. 

The donation was made through the campaign for the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens’ Downtown Sarasota campus master plan. Part of the program included consideration for employment by subcontractors working on the Gardens’ master plan project site, the release states. 

“Our master plan is estimated to have an economic impact in our region of more than $78 million,” Jennifer Rominiecki, president and CEO of Selby Gardens, says in the release. “Investing in this innovative workforce training partnership with CareerEdge and the Sarasota Chamber is keeping more of that impact and its long-term benefits here in the Sarasota community. It’s a model that could be replicated at other projects in our region to ensure that more of the jobs they create are filled by local citizens.”

The 18 trainees were able to continually earn a wage while taking the training program, as it was conducted on a compressed timeline during the evening hours. 

“These individuals worked incredibly hard to learn new skills that prepared them to enter an industry with tremendous potential,” Dan Sidler, vice president of CareerEdge & Economic Development at the chamber, says in the release. “We are excited to cheer them on as they continue their local career journey.”



 

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