While everyone is talking about millennials ... and trying to ‘figure them out’ ... the truth is that they are our future here in Manatee and Sarasota counties. And I am delighted by the energy and talent that they bring with them.
With many local companies expanding, and others relocating to our area, the breadth of jobs requiring a new mix of highly technical skills, along with a savvy core ‘soft skill’ base, is increasing rapidly. In fact, we cannot even predict with much precision what some new jobs will look like just five years from now.
The skill-sets required for these new opportunities may be similar to those today, but the titles and unique demands are shifting so rapidly that we need to be careful not to predict our needs too narrowly.
Paid internships and on-the-job training gets youthful job-seekers in front of local businesses. They can begin to build their resumes and launch careers.
By involving our younger generation early in life, we are opening minds to what careers we have to offer right here. This summer, the Journey-to-Success program allowed high school students from Manatee and Sarasota counties to spend five weeks exploring careers and premier local employers.
Students learned that there are many more companies located here than they imagined. Participant Jonathan Morales went into the program certain that he wanted to be a mechanic. But after touring schools and companies, he opened his mind to the possibility of working in many industries.
We are privileged to have some of our CareerSource team attend the Bradenton Area Economic Development Corporation’s Thought Leaders Group. These talented and successful millennials work to find solutions for retaining and attracting others to the community.
They have created a stream of social media called 941NOW that engages us by bringing attention to all the great opportunities the Suncoast offers. They are also brainstorming solutions for tough issues like the lack of affordable housing. The group is a great connecter for millennials with local businesses and community partners.
With a bold community effort, our community will be the place where millennials find success and grow their careers and innovative startups. CareerSouce Suncoast takes our responsibility very seriously, and we are building an extensive youth program to keep future generations engaged and excited about the opportunities right here in our area.
Ted Ehrlichman, president and CEO of CareerSource Suncoast, writes about workforce issues across the region.