Virtual job fair geared to young workers from Sarasota to Hillsborough

May 4, 2013 

Employers have an opportunity to tap into a talent pool of younger workers, ages 14-24, through a Virtual Job Fair running from May 12 to May 18.

For the third consecutive year, the organizing partners for this hiring event will span a four-county radius including Suncoast Workforce in Manatee and Sarasota counties, Tampa Bay WorkForce Alliance in Hillsborough County, and WorkNet Pinellas in Pinellas County.

"Businesses can benefit from hiring younger workers who bring fresh perspectives and new ideas. Younger workers tend to be open to learning and thrive on coaching and mentoring from others -- their ability to embrace change, diversity, and technology can result in cost savings for businesses," said Mary Helen Kress, President and CEO of Suncoast Workforce. "The virtual job fair is an efficient and effective way to connect youth to employment which gives them the opportunity to become successful future members of the workforce."

With listings ranging from first-time jobs to jobs requiring college degrees and some experience, the online platform offers real jobs for real job seekers. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in March the unemployment level for teenagers, 16 to 19 years, to be 23.3 percent - among the highest of all major worker groups.

The Virtual Job Fair is free and simple to access. Businesses interested in participating are encouraged to post their open positions including summer internships, part-time or full-time opportunities on Only during the live week-long event will job seekers be able to submit their resumes for employers' job openings.

Benderson buys TECO headquarters

BRADENTON -- Benderson Development Co., based in Bradenton, has paid $22 million to buy TECO Plaza, Tampa Electric Company's nine-story, 277,454-square-foot headquarters in downtown Tampa. About 600 TECO employees work in the building, which the company will continue to lease.

This is the second Tampa property for Benderson, which owns Palm River Square in east Tampa.

Benderson is currently developing the 880,000-square-foot The Mall at University Town Center with Taubman Centers Inc.

Mermaid Manor changes hands

BRADENTON -- Mermaid Manor LLC has purchased the 79-lot Mermaid Manor mobile home park, located at 3720 14th St. W., Bradenton, from 3720 14th Street LLC for $1.2 million.

Sam Watkins and Bruce Ginsberg, both with Coldwell Banker Commercial NRT, handled the transaction.

Goodwill Manasota celebrates May 6-10

MANATEE -- To celebrate

Goodwill Manasota Week, May 6 to 10, the enterprise is offering an online drawing, a 50-percent apparel discount sale at area retail shops (May 4 and 5) and a virtual career fair. Goodwill Manasota is also participating in the Sustainable Shindig, an event hosted by the U.S. Green Building Council, Florida Gulf Coast Chapter, at Bradenton's Riverwalk on May 5.

Gifts for the online drawing have been donated from WCTQ (106.5 FM), and include Rays tickets, jewelry from Barb McSweeney Jewelry, and music and movie CDs and DVDs. To enter the drawing, visit between May 6-10.

During the week, Goodwill Manasota will also provide online access to a virtual career fair, a free online forum that enables job seekers to meet with employers and apply for jobs from anywhere.

Last year, the nationwide initiative drew more than 7,500 job seekers, said Bob Rosinsky, president and CEO of Goodwill Manasota. This year, Goodwill Manasota will use Google Hangouts to support the virtual career fair, which will be specifically targeted toward three populations struggling to find employment: women, youth, and veterans and military families. To register for the virtual career fair, visit

For more information on Goodwill Manasota Week, visit or call 941-355-2721, Ext. 104.

-- Herald staff reports

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