BRADENTON – The Bradenton Area Economic Development Corp. (EDC) will move its office from Lakewood Ranch to the 26 West Center at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota, in Bradenton in January 2023. Sharon Hillstrom, EDC president and CEO, announced the news during the organization’s 2022 Annual Update event on Friday, October 28, at the Bradenton Area Convention Center.
The 26 West Center at SCF Bradenton is home to the Entrepreneurship Academy, Business Growth Lab, Personal Branding Lab, the SCF Coding Academy, and SCF’s Creative Studio. Each offers a range of services dedicated to making entrepreneurship, small business growth and careers in technology accessible to students and residents of the Suncoast region. The EDC provided important support to help SCF secure $3.6 million in job growth grant funding from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity to establish 26 West.
“Fostering entrepreneurship is a major focus of our organization, so we are excited to co-locate with the entrepreneurship programs and business incubator at 26 West,” Hillstrom said. “We also look forward to engaging in an environment that cultivates energy and innovation. Where better for that to occur than a college campus? SCF has always been an excellent partner with the EDC, and we expect this move to provide even greater opportunities for collaboration on future economic development initiatives.”
“Having the EDC on our campus will bring business and talent together − providing ready access to a quality workforce of talented students and our faculty who can serve as subject matter experts,” said Dr. Carol F. Probstfeld, president of SCF. “Businesses visiting and considering the region will find our campus exemplary of the rich history, talent and opportunity within our community.”
“I am thrilled to have worked very closely with the EDC to help facilitate their relocation to our 26 West Center,” said Dr. Todd G. Fritch, executive vice president and provost at SCF. “Continuing our close collaboration with the EDC will ensure that the academic programming and services offered through the 26 West Center’s entrepreneurship and IT/coding academies and boot camps continue to meet the current and emerging economic development needs across our region.”
The EDC is a private, nonprofit organization that is recognized by the State of Florida as the lead economic development organization for all the communities that make up Manatee County. The EDC works to diversify the local economy by attracting and retaining high-skill, high-wage jobs for area residents, and connecting established businesses to the resources they need to grow and prosper. Information: BradentonAreaEDC.com.
# # #