In 2013, then Chair-Elect of the Sarasota Young Professionals Group, Chris Laney, came up with a concept called State of Jobs where the community would come together to discuss education, workforce development and what our community is doing to make it better. The first event included attendees of all demographics and was held over a three-day period. What we found was during our interactions with the high school day, the kind of impact we could make on the community working directly with students.

In year two, we focused completely on students by catering to college and career readiness. In addition to providing education on college and careers, we started surveying the students on what they are looking for in colleges and careers. Through our research, we found an incredible opportunity to continue surveying our students to better understand what they are looking for and whether we are making an impact in our community.

Today, the State of Jobs Conference is a product of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce and has a steering committee made up of educators, business and non-profit professionals, and educational enthusiast.