Free construction and electrical fast-track training programs launched by CareerEdge Funders Collaborative

Courses to be conducted at offices of Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce

Image from the CareerEdge webpages

“The shortage of skilled workers in the construction and electrical sectors has created a pressing need for accessible training initiatives,” CareerEdge Funders Collaborative, the workforce development program of The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, points out in a news release.

In response “to the growing demand for skilled professionals,” CareerEdge “is launching a basic construction and electrical skills training program, it announced this week. “This program is designed to provide participants with a unique opportunity to acquire valuable skills and embark on a rewarding career journey, all for free,” the release adds.

Dan Sidler, vice president of CareerEdge and workforce development, explained in the release, “Our Fast Track Training Program aims to bridge a local skills gap by offering comprehensive training and equipping participants with practical knowledge, hands-on experience, and industry-recognized certifications, at no cost to the individual.”

The training is available through two programs to any Sarasota or Manatee county resident, the release continues. “Participants must commit to attending [both of them]”:

  • 10 weeks, Basic Construction, plus one week of professional skills training, from Sept. 26 to Dec. 14,meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.
  • 15 weeks, Basic Electrical, from Jan. 9, 2024 to April 25, 2024, meeting every Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30 to 9 p.m.

“The training will take place at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with the education provider Technical Education Council (TEC),” the release points out. “TEC uses a curriculum designed by the National Center for Construction Education & Research (NCCER). NCCER is recognized by the construction industry as the leader in training, assessment, certification, and career development,” the release explains.

Upon completion of their training, the release continues, students will earn NCCER credentials for each course and module, including those regarding basic safety, an introduction to construction math, hand tools, power tools, construction drawings, and basic rigging. In addition, the course content includes “an overview of the electrical craft,” the release notes, including a focus on the structure of electrical systems and the skills needed to follow blueprints, plus instruction on handling wiring installations. 

During the 80-hour Bridges to Careers construction course, the release says, “the participants will be introduced to local employers for job opportunities. One goal of the program is to help job seekers engage with employers seeking talent.”
Participants have the potential to be hired for careers starting with annual salaries of $33,000, the release points out. If they pursue an approved apprenticeship program, it notes, “they routinely receive wage increases as their skills continue to develop. “

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply at The application process is open, but spaces are limited, and candidates will be selected on the basis of “their motivation, aptitude, and potential to thrive in the construction and electrical sectors as determined by their application and interview with CareerEdge staff.”

“CareerEdge Funders Collaborative is an innovative partnership of business, government, and philanthropic organizations, leveraging public and private dollars to provide opportunities for better jobs and wages in Manatee and Sarasota counties,” the release explains. For more information about CareerEdge and its partners, visit  or call 941-556-4045.