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Business Observer Friday, Jun. 29, 2018 2 months ago

Organization works to connect interns with area — and keep them there

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New Talent Gulf Coast is hosting five events this summer for area interns.

Keeping young talent in the area can be a challenge, but New Talent Gulf Coast will take it on. 

New Talent Gulf Coast is part of BIG — Bright Ideas on the Gulf Coast — an initiative of the Gulf Coast CEO Forum. 

Gulf Coast CEO Forum Executive Director Kim Miele tells Coffee Talk that New Talent Gulf Coast is dual-purposed. “It’s to help the younger generation say, ‘hey, there are some cool things here,’" she says, "but it’s also to help the companies.”

One of the program's core goals: to connect interns working at area companies during the summer to other interns, companies and organizations in the region.  

When the program started in summer 2017, it was called Millennials in Motion. But millennials themselves, Miele says, expressed they didn’t like being referred to as millennials, hence the change.

During the inaugural summer, the organization put together three events for about 60 interns from eight companies. Those events were primarily happy hours, but through feedback, New Talent Gulf Coast decided to turn the focus more to professional development.

This summer, New Talent Gulf Coast increased its reach with more interns, more companies and more events.

Over 180 interns from 20 companies in Manatee and Sarasota counties are participating this year. They range from college-aged students to young professionals who have recently graduated.

“We would love to have more organizations involved,” says Gulf Coast CEO Forum Administrative Director Mary Darby Guidroz. “The rising tide lifts all boats — I think that’s everybody’s mentality. The more the region is on the map in terms of potential new hires, everybody wins.”

Summer programming for New Talent Gulf Coast includes an event at FCCI Insurance Group, for a total of five events at different organizations from May to September. Each event will include similar elements — tours, panel discussions, networking and snacks.

Miele says, “We want to continue to grow and help grow our own ecosystem, keep the talent here and let the next generation know that Sarasota/Manatee is a great place to live.”

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