BRADENTON – Suncoast Community Capital (SCC) invites unemployed workers to apply for admission to the next cohort of its successful Bridges to Careers workforce readiness training initiative that starts May 6.
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.
“Bridges is like ‘Extreme Makeover for Employment’,” said Nathalie deWolf, executive director of CareerEdge, SCC’s partner in delivering Bridges. “People really change over the five weeks. They grow in confidence, develop positive attitudes that make them appealing to prospective employers, and discover skills and abilities that they never knew they had. It’s truly a unique and incredible life experience that prepares them well for the workforce.”
In addition, the Bridges team assigns mentors to help each participant to develop to their full potential, and to work alongside them to ensure they obtain employment as a result of finishing Bridges. “A number of our participants have been hired even before they finish the program” said Jessica Ruter, SCC’s manager of financial stability initiatives who coordinates Bridges. After finishing the program, the Bridges team continues to mentor each Bridges graduate to search for employment and connect with additional services. “We don’t just disappear once they finish,” added Ruter. “We continue to be there for them.”
Interested individuals must be 18 and older, and commit themselves to five consecutive weeks of training if they are accepted to the program after an interview.
Earlier this year, CareerEdge announced it invested $30,000 in SCC for it to provide Bridges to local job seekers and incumbent workers. Since its start through last October, the Bridges partnership has served 481 people with over 1,020 certificates earned, leading to 297 job placements. 82% 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 Elevate America, Jane’s Trust, Bank of America, the City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency.
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.email@example.com. Media members may contact SCC CEO Mike Kennedy at 941-744-2666 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Suncoast Community Capital
SCC’s mission is to empower low-income people and communities to achieve financial independence through entrepreneurship, workforce readiness, asset development and facilitated investment. SCC offers microbusiness coaching, access to microbusiness loans, workforce readiness training, free income tax return prep, and financial education and coaching. For more information, please visit www.suncoastcc.com.
CareerEdge is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations that leverages public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Bradenton and Sarasota County. The first regional collaborative of workforce investors in the southeastern United States to be designated as a site of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions, CareerEdge was created with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, City of Bradenton Central Community Redevelopment Agency, Gulf Coast Community Foundation, Bank of America, Bradenton 14th Street Community Redevelopment Agency and Bradenton Downtown Development Authority. It is also supported by contributions from Microsoft Elevate America, Sarasota County Government, Jane’s Trust and JP Morgan Chase & Company. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, please visit www.careeredgefunders.org or call 941.744.2661.
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