First, businesses need to become active partners based on their core business practices and values. Second, businesses can commit human and other resources to programs that will foster long-term relationships.
Third, by supporting the development of creative programs that help motivate students to learn, they can impact performance in the classroom. And last, business and education can together bring alive the connection of learning, skills development and success in the business world.
In November, a new adventure began with all the elements of a successful business education partnership for students to enhance their understanding of free enterprise and experience the challenges of operating a company. This new adventure came about as area universities partnered with the Chester County Chamber Foundation, area businesses and the Foundation for Free Enterprise Education to host the first annual Chester County Business Adventure (CCBA).
The CCBA hosted more than 60 area high school students. Modeled after the award-winning Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week program, CCBA is a miniversion of these highly successful collaborations between high schools and business organizations. CCBA provided high school freshmen and sophomores with a hands-on experience of actually running their own manufacturing plant with guidance from area business professionals. The student companies competed in a business simulation and a marketing campaign during the four-day residential camp.
CCBA provides youth with an opportunity to learn professional skills required in the workplace, such as how to network, how to motivate others and how to master time-management skills while actively participating in team-oriented activities.
Business adventures are designed to help students learn how to challenge themselves while in school, encourage them to volunteer or intern within organizations similar to their career aspirations and, most important, learn about the career opportunities in their own backyard. It is because of those expectations that the CCBA planning committee decided to customize this business adventure to reflect the career opportunities available to young people in Southeastern PA, showcasing the life sciences industry.
In 1597 Francis Bacon said, “knowledge is power.” In 2005, the purpose of the Chester County Business Adventure to enhance students’ knowledge and skills crucial to a successful future fulfills the connection of knowledge to empowering the next generation of business leaders.
Chuck Rumford is director of corporate programs for the WCU College of Business and Public Affairs. For more information on WCU’s corporate programs, visit training.btcwcu.org or call (610) 425-5000 ext 2695.