How does talent help economic development?
It's a new year, and while we reflect on our successes in 2014, we are also reflecting and building upon our basic principles. At CareerSource Suncoast our mission is to recruit, train and retain talent. Companies that are considering relocation or expansion are relying on our region to provide a base of skilled employees who can step in to work for them.
Where will these workers come from? Our high schools and technical colleges are producing some of the best talent out there and will continue to do so with the collaboration of our regional partners.
It's no surprise that the talent of our local work force plays a huge role in our region's economic future. If we want this to be the best place to live, work and raise a family, then we must continue to develop our region's talent to attract the best companies to come here and stay here. We need to continue growing our pool of trained and talented workers who can fill the needs of these employers.
Take a look at Air Products, which was one of the biggest economic development projects in our region in 2014, opening a $57 million manufacturing plant near Port Manatee. Air Products has huge talent needs, and the talent that our region was able to offer was one of the major reasons the company decided to make its home here in Manatee County.
With locations across the United States, the company recruits new talent every day, but nowhere else has it worked hand-in-hand with a workforce to meet its needs. From posting jobs to hosting interviews to referring candidates, CareerSource Suncoast has worked toward matching Air Products' talent needs.
Funding assessments, which were done by Manatee Technical College, helped the company select the best welders from its pool of applicants. Manatee Technical College proved invaluable in supplying qualified candidates, furnishing the materials and instructors to grade the welding assessments and hosting countless rounds of interviews while the plant was under construction. It is because of these great partners that our region is able develop talent and attract companies such as Air Products.
In the past 12 months, CareerSource Suncoast provided services for 36,891 customers and helped 7,764 find employment.
Ted Ehrlichman, president and CEO of CareerSource Suncoast, writes about work force issues across the region. CareerSource Suncoast is a nonprofit dedicated to providing education and tools for employers and job seekers.