SRQ Media: Top Workforce Professionals Come Together for State of Jobs Conference

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce State of Jobs Conference on Thursday, October 27 will bring together some of the area’s top professionals to educate and prepare the next workforce generation. Speakers represent varied tracks including healthcare, information technology, business manufacturing, hospitality, marketing and the arts—all with a common goal in mind.

“This is the first year the arts have been included in the State of Jobs Conference and Sarasota Opera feels honored to participate,” says Director of Audience Development and State of Jobs speaker Sam Lowry. “The Arts in Sarasota are one of the biggest employers in Sarasota with a myriad of career opportunities available beyond being a performer. We are excited, along with our colleagues from the Sarasota Orchestra and the Ringling Museum, for the opportunity to inform the next generation of Sarasotans about our industry.”

Throughout the day, students will experience at least five sessions, three focused directly on their career interest. In addition to learning about their career, State of Jobs focuses on college readiness, leadership, social responsibility and preparing for being a professional.

Mireya Eavey, conference speaker and President of CareerEdge strives to grow workforce development in our community and region. “Similar to the State of Jobs Conference, CareerEdge’s greatest goal is to connect students with the professionals and potential resources they might need in order to succeed,” she says. “For me, this conference is a great opportunity for students to not only learn about college, but is also a chance to discover a new industry, explore a new certificate program or just a chance to sort through their options before they walk across that stage at their high school graduation. We want to better prepare our young community members for a bright and promising future.”

SRQ magazine’s CEO and Editor and Chief Lisl Liang will return as a State of Jobs speaker and discuss what it takes to run a business in our region. “At previous State of Jobs conferences, many participants expressed an interest in owning and running their own businesses,” says Liang. “As a local entrepreneur and founder of the SRQ|MEDIA enterprise, I am thrilled to engage our students in a workshop that gives them a few tools to experience the culture of accountability, adaptability and artisanship that go into the creation and diversification of a successful creative class company.”

For more on the State of Jobs Conference, contact Chris Laney at or visit their website online at

Article posted by SRQ Media.


941CEO: State of Jobs Conference Set for Oct. 27

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is hosting its third annual State of Jobs Conference on Thursday, Oct. 27.

The Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce is hosting its third annual State of Jobs Conference on Thursday, Oct. 27, at Suncoast Technical College, 4748 S. Beneva Road, Sarasota. The conference provides an opportunity for more than 400 high school students to learn about growing careers on the Suncoast. More than 50 local speakers from fields such as health care, information technology, manufacturing, engineering, hospitality, tourism, marketing, design and culture are participating.

Article posted by Sarasota Magazine’s 941CEO.


SRQ Media: State of Jobs Connects Students with Career Pathways

In just a few short weeks, 450-plus high school students from the Sarasota County school district area will explore potential local career pathways at the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce’s 2016 State of Jobs Conference. State of Jobs features over 50 local guest speakers from seven different career tracks working to inspire students to take control of their futures. The event plans to engage students in higher education opportunities in Sarasota-Bradenton, give them an inside look into great local businesses and encourage them to network with local executives. “We’ve already started witnessing the impact State of Jobs is having on our community,”says Chris Laney, chair of the conference. “Students have changed careers because they were inspired by the guest speakers, received internships from relationships created and have pursued higher education because of what they learned at this conference. Our goal is to simply inspire students to do more and I believe that’s happening.”

Last year, during the second annual State of Jobs conference, the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce compiled a volume of data highlighting student perceptions of colleges and careers on the Suncoast. The majority of students indicated they were planning to attend a college in the state of Florida, but not in the Sarasota-Bradenton area. The event plans to ensure that local college-bound students are aware of both the academic post-secondary opportunities as well as the job market for young professionals. The survey also showed that students were interested in learning about careers locally through internships, job shadowing and higher education, but feel a disconnect from the specific opportunities available for them.

For more on the State of Jobs conference, contact Chris Laney at or visit their website online at

Article posted by SRQ Media.


Sarasota Observer: Sarasota YPG presents second annual State of Jobs conference

When it comes to the local job market, staying in the know can be tough.

Is that pending LinkedIn request really going to be the watershed moment in your understanding of Sarasota’s health care industry? Are newspaper job listings a good indication of how well the tourism business is doing? And Craigslist is a proverbial minefield of solicitations.

This Thursday, the Sarasota Young Professionals Group will offer some much-needed insight into the local job market. More than 400 high school students, and upwards of 200 college students and working young professionals will convene with industry leaders to discuss Sarasota’s leading industries for the second annual YPG State of Jobs conference.

Representatives from the area’s five leading industries, including technology, health care, engineering and manufacturing, business and finance and tourism and hospitality, will discuss career opportunities and examine trends among Sarasota students to assist local educators and employers in a State of Jobs recap March 26.

The conference will be divided into high school, college and career track portions and will feature lectures from speakers including YPG chair Chris Laney, County Commissioner Paul Carigiulo, Bridget Ziegler of Al Purmont Insurance, Visit Sarasota County Director of Sports, Nicole Rissler, entrepreneur Rich Swier, Gold Coast Eagle CEO John Saputo and more.

Article posted by the Sarasota Observer.


Hereald Tribune: Impressive speakers for first State of Jobs Conference

A three-day conference designed to tell local students and young professionals about career and higher education opportunities in Southwest Florida has attracted an impressive list of speakers.

Speakers will include, top row from left, David Kotok, Pat Williams and Rod Hershberger, and, second row from left, Larry Thompson, Daisy Vulovich and Art Lambert.

The Sarasota Young Professionals Group is holding its first State of Jobs Conference, to be held at Sarasota County Technical Institute April 16-18.

The conference intends to explore leadership development, industry growth, the economy and community engagement. It’s goal, organizers say, is to “bring community organizations, educational institutions and local businesses together to discuss one topic, jobs.”

And all of it’s free.

Keynote speakers include: David Kotok, Cumberland Advisors chairman and chief investment officer; Sam Davidson, Westfield Malls district marketing manager; Pat Williams, Orlando Magic co-founder and executive vice president; Jesse Pannuccio, Florida Department of Economic Opportunity executive director.

CEO panelists will be Rod Hershberger of PGT; Allen Carlson of Sun Hydraulics; John Saputo of Gold Coast Eagle Distributing; and Art Lambert of BMG/LexJet.

Education panelists will be Larry Thompson of Ringling College of Art and Design; Donal O’Shea of New College of Florida; Daisy Vulovich of State College of Florida; Arthur Guilford, of University of South Florida, Sarasota-Manatee; and Todd Bowden of SCTI.

On the Working with Our City panel will be City Commissioner Paul Caragiulo; County Commissioner Carolyn Mason; Sally Tibbetts with U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan’s Office; Steve Queior of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce; Mark Huey of the Sarasota County Economic Development Corp. and Jane Goodwin of the Sarasota County School Board.

The Young Professional Panel will consist of Frank Maggio of Insignia Bank; Sean Duade of Sarasota Suds; Taelor Scheuer of the Cutting Loose salon; Rochelle Dudley of OnMessage; and Michael Long of Sail Future.

The conference will include seven tracks of keynote speakers and panel discussions. Track themes are: Technology, Health Care, Manufacturing, Hospitality and Tourism, Business and Finance, Law, and Architecture and Construction. Each track will include key speakers from local companies that are hiring, looking to expand or are changing the region’s economic landscape.

The Sarasota Young Professionals Group is a networking organization of more than 450 professionals aged 21-40 in Sarasota County. It is part of the Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce.

For more information and to register for the event, go –Staff report


atLarge Inc: State of Jobs Conference Recap: Good News for Sarasota Youth and Employers

Sarasota may still have a lingering reputation as a town for retirees, but more and more companies are recognizing it as a hotspot of young talent. With respected institutions such as Ringling College, New School, and University of South Florida in the area, plus several highly graded high schools, there’s no shortage of talented and ambitious students looking for their first big break. But, connecting the dots between employer and employee isn’t always easy. The State of Jobs Conference, which took place last week and was and hosted by Sarasota Young Professionals Group, aimed to help make that connection a bit easier.

Our own founder, Anand Pallegar spoke at the conference along with Adam Saah, Technology & Development Manager, and Anna Foster, Digital Account Manager, from Digital Observer Media, a division of the Observer Media Group. The three offered their perspectives on the state of jobs in Sarasota County.

What was your impression of the conference?

Adam: Any opportunity to speak to young talent is time well spent.

Anna: Adam and I both grew up in Sarasota, so to see a conference like this happening here is exciting. Any opportunity to create community, especially with our future workforce, is great.

Anand: This is the second year we’ve been involved in State of Jobs and it’s fantastic to see the evolution of the conference, but also of the students and their perspectives towards seriously evaluating careers here in the region.

Why is Sarasota a great place to live AND work?

Adam: We live in paradise. That said, people come from all over the world to enjoy what Sarasota, and Florida, has to offer. Recently the up-tick in technology companies coming to Sarasota is also giving the technically savvy more opportunities to explore. The relative low cost of living compared to New York, California, et cetera, doesn’t hurt either.

Anna: Sarasota really does have it all—beautiful weather, culture, jobs, good schools, restaurants and nightlife. Like Adam said, we live in paradise.

Anand: Most people don’t realize the depth of opportunity that exists here. It’s not till you scratch below the surface that you see the amazing companies, stories and leaders in this community. What makes it all the more compelling is your access to them. When you combine that with the quality of life here, it’s a win-win!

From the conference, did you get a sense of young people’s perception of Sarasota and the Gulf Coast area?

Anna: I spoke about my personal experience and how after college I moved to California because I felt like Sarasota didn’t have any jobs—this was 2009—but the student’s didn’t have a strong reaction to that. I hope that’s because the business community is working to change that perception!

Anand: There’s often a misconception about what Sarasota has to offer high-school and college graduates. Most aren’t thinking about their career option, so they graduate having spent all their time in the mindset of school, and subsequently want to leave. They’re not exposed to the opportunities and companies in our backyard, thus have little concept of what they can do right here in Sarasota. There’s also the allure of a big city, but we’re getting bigger every day….

Do you think companies in our region are doing all they can to actively recruit young people from the area? What could companies do to change the perception that this not a good place for young professionals?

Adam: I think the stereotype that talent comes from larger metropolitan areas still persists. A non-profit organization that local schools and colleges could participate in to aggregate local graduating talent would be a great first step. And to change the perception? Raise salaries. Sarasota companies have historically undervalued their technical talent as it compares to other areas. If it’s Internet related technology, then we all work through a wire; New York or Sarasota, the Internet is the same.

Anna: No, I think that companies in our area are still slow to pick up the work culture that makes places like California, New York, and Colorado attractive to young job seekers.  Companies can change the perception of Sarasota through their recruitment process and what they make available online. Most people research before they apply, so having assets that tell your story and give a real glimpse into the companies and Sarasota can help attract young talent. Plus, money doesn’t hurt either. Companies should pay for talent, especially in the technology spectrum, because it is necessary now for business and will continue to innovate how business is done.

Anand: When you look at retaining our talent, there’s a tremendous opportunity for employers to make an impact. A key aspect is simply awareness—most students don’t know about the companies in our region and the opportunities they afford in staying here. Getting in front of students, creating internship or apprenticeship programs to engage them early and often, generating awareness about the industries here are all things that we can do to shift perceptions.