Suncoast Workforce returns to original home in Bradenton

Open house at office on Manatee Avenue scheduled for Aug. 22

cschelle@bradenton.comJuly 15, 2013 

BRADENTON -- Suncoast Workforce is coming back to its original Bradenton home.

The employment agency for Manatee and Sarasota counties moved this month to 1112 Manatee Ave. E., and its administrative team will relocate from downtown Sarasota on July 27.

"We need to be where we can be more accessible to our clients, and there is a bus stop right across the street from this building, which makes it convenient for people," Chief Executive Officer Mary Helen Kress said.

The building was constructed in 2001 as a one-stop career center and housed various social services agencies. But the agencies left and forced Suncoast Workforce to find a more affordable Bradenton home at 3526 Ninth St. W., Kress explained. Ever since Suncoast Workforce left, the building remained vacant, she said.

The 27,000-square-foot building's layout is a better fit to serve customers, said Sally Hill, spokeswoman for Suncoast Workforce.

"Functionally, the layout is by far more customer friendly," she said. The space is also better for businesses to hold hiring events.

The location is key thanks to being near so many businesses, Kress said, as the agency wants to connect with new businesses to have more jobs available for clients.

The building features all the same services, including job placement, help with unemployment filings, and appointments

can be made to evaluate career skills and potential, Kress said.

"We also have a mobile that goes out into areas that are inaccessible for our services," Kress said.

Other services include a work-first program to help transition people off welfare, job placement for veterans, and a remediation lab for people earning their GED, Kress said.

The old Bradenton office would serve 4,300 people a month, and during the recession the Bradenton office would often outpace the Sarasota location, Kress said.

Kress and her administrative team will come along for the move July 27, and the office will host an open house for the community Aug. 22.

The hours will also remain the same, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome, but some services such as the career evaluation are appointment-based.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 941-714-7449 or visit suncoastworkforce.org.

Charles Schelle, business reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7095. Follow him on Twitter @ImYourChuck.

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