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Community Spotlight: 11 Manatee County Residents Graduate From "Bridges to Careers" Program


BRADENTON – Suncoast Community Capital (SCC) graduated 11 Manatee County residents from its Bridges to Careers workforce-readiness training program on Thursday,


March 14. Bradenton City Councilman Harold Byrd and Bradenton Downtown Development Authority executive director David Gustafson addressed the graduating class.

“One graduate from this class landed a position with IMG Academy even before our program ended, and several others have been encouraged to apply for open positions with other local employers,” said Jessica Ruter, SCC’s manager of financial stability initiatives. “Our Bridges students are now confident, determined, and have learned the skills they need to make them great candidates for our local employers.”

Bridges to Careers helps unemployed, low-income residents enhance their skills and earning potential through formal skills training and credentialing. During Bridges, participants receive a Florida Ready to Work credential, workplace success skills training from State College of Florida, digital and financial literacy training, academic and career coaching and mentoring, and job placement assistance. Their time in Bridges is also enhanced with job shadowing and volunteer community service experiences.

Earlier this month, CareerEdge Funders Collaborative announced it invested $30,000 in SCC for it to provide Bridges to local job seekers and incumbent workers. Since its start, the Bridges partnership has served 481 people with over 1,020 certificates earned, leading to 297 job placements. 81% of Bridges job seekers have obtained employment since the start of the grant. The program is supported in part by grants to CareerEdge from Microsoft, Jane’s Trust, Bank of America, the City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency.

The graduation ceremony, filmed by Manatee Educational Television, was held in SCC’s financial stability center at 302 Manatee Avenue East.

Individuals interested in applying for the next Bridges class or serving as a volunteer mentor to Bridges clients can contact Jessica Ruter at 941-744-2666 ext. 2 or Jessica.ruter@suncoastcc.com.


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