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Focus on Manatee: You can’t start too early in preparing students for future career success

Manatee Chamber of Commerce hosts sixth annual Champions of Healthcare Awards

The Manatee Chamber of Commerce on Thursday recognized nine local healthcare employees, programs and institutions for their contributions to the community at its Sixth Annual Champions of Healthcare Awards at Manatee Technical College.
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The Manatee Chamber of Commerce on Thursday recognized nine local healthcare employees, programs and institutions for their contributions to the community at its Sixth Annual Champions of Healthcare Awards at Manatee Technical College.

Health — it affects each of us in a personal way.

Here in the greater Manatee County region, we have access to a comprehensive system of care and world-class providers. The health care industry provides tens of thousands of jobs and supports a large part of our local economy.

Many individuals, programs, businesses and non-profits support the health of our community in ways that extend well beyond the “four walls” of their business, mission and scope of practice.

On June 20, our community will celebrate our health care ecosystem at the seventh annual Champions of Healthcare Awards.

This year, 70 nominations were submitted for the awards and nine winners will be honored across a multitude of categories.

While most of the winners are revealed at the event, we have named two winners ahead of time:

Dr. David Law will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award;

Emma Bittar will receive the Youth Volunteer Award.

I am eager to hear from them on the impact they have made as generous volunteers who care about the health of individuals in our community. The program will showcase innovation, volunteerism, philanthropy, mentoring, service and cutting-edge practices.

Jacki Dezelski-mug.jpg
Jacki Dezelski is the president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce.

If you would like information about the Champions of Healthcare Awards, call Carey Miller at 941-748-3411 or visit manateechamber.com/healthcareawards.

One driver of health care access is health care providers’ ability to recruit employees from a robust talent pipeline. In fact, many conversations I have with business leaders focus on how to grow our local workforce.

For our economy to continue to expand, businesses must have access to a talent pipeline that meets their needs now and in the future. It takes a comprehensive approach and many diverse partners. We believe you can’t start too early in preparing students for their future career success.

A few weeks ago, the Manatee Chamber sent more than 140 business volunteers — representing a wide variety of careers — into every fourth grade class in Manatee County public schools.

These volunteers introduced the students to their career and education/training path while helping the students imagine what their ideal future job might be.

It was gratifying to hear that our community’s youth are interested in lots of different careers — from health care to construction, hospitality to education, technology to professional services, and many others.

We also heard from students about ideas they have for starting their own business. An important point is that it is never too soon to encourage children to think about the future and point out important milestones that can help them achieve their dreams.

The Chamber will continue to capitalize on more opportunities to connect students to local business people and career information.

This fall we’ll be looking for business leaders to help students explore technical and high-skill trade careers, expand internship opportunities, understand the importance of strong financial literacy skills, prepare for the FAFSA student financial aid application and more.

If you’d like to be included in those opportunities, connect with the Chamber and we’ll share more information.

As we head into summer, take a moment to thank a teacher for all that they do to prepare our future doctors, nurses, plumbers, electricians, accountants, engineers, chefs, technicians and thousands of other professions that support our robust economy and quality of life.

Jacki Dezelski is the president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and can be reached at JackiD@ManateeChamber.com or 941-748-3411.

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