Partnership with schools is good for business
It's hard to believe that the end of summer, at least for our school-aged children, is less than a month away. As families consider school supply lists, class schedules, and new transitions, it is also a great time for business owners to consider ways in which they can engage with our local schools. For many years the Manatee Chamber and the Manatee County School District have partnered on the business and education partnership program. It fosters new local business involvement in our schools and helps grow existing partnerships.
A great way to start is for business representatives to attend the annual business and education partnership awards. Every year, the Chamber and School District present the awards program as a way to recognize the significant, positive impact businesses, non-profits and individuals have on our schools. With hundreds of official partnerships functioning at many different levels, there really is a way for any interested business, regardless of size, to support our students and teachers.
Business engagement in the classroom is also an important component of workforce development and the long-term success of attracting and retaining talent in our community. The more we are able to expand the view of local students to the career opportunities available to them here, the more likely we are to keep them here. Talent attraction is critical to the health -- and growth -- of local businesses as well as our quality of life. A business person spending even as little as an hour or two in a classroom can give a young person new perspective on their future career.
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Two weeks ago, we had to say good-bye to a compassionate leader who impacted the careers and futures of thousands of young people and adults. Dr. Mary Cantrell was a force in education in Manatee County, most recently as a School Board member. Her contributions, over almost 20 years, to Manatee Technical College and technical education in our region will serve as a lasting legacy.
Legacies start with a decision to get involved. If you'd like information about how to begin a business and education partnership or if you'd like to attend the awards event on Sept. 10, please contact Jahna Leinhauser at the Manatee Chamber. Thank you to the hundreds of businesses and organizations -- and thousands of volunteers -- who give invaluable resources to our local schools, teachers and students.
Robert P. Bartz, president of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, can be reached at BobB@manateechamber.com.