Bay Co. Educators Work To Foster Relationship With Businesses

By: Kristy Wolski Email
By: Kristy Wolski Email

Local educators and business people are working to improve their relationship inside the schools. Their goal is to produce a better-educated worker for the future, but devising a specific plan can be difficult.

Educators and business leaders seem to agree more cooperation would enhance the quality of students who will soon be entering the workforce. Employers say many younger employees these days lack good work ethic.

"It's important for them to want to do a good days work, to take pride in their work, to show up at the job, to dress appropriately, that's all a part of being a good employee," said Doug Merkle, education task force.

Members of the business community say they'd like to go into the high schools and mentor students on careers available locally. One way they'll do that is through job fairs.

"I think the most important thing is that they realize there are certain qualifications that they need to meet and certain education levels for certain jobs of what they want to enter into after they get out of high school," said Larry Carroll, Coldwell Banker Carroll Realty.

The education task force is also considering one-on-one mentoring between students and business people, as well as increasing internship programs. But they agree all employers are looking for certain life skills in their hires, and those are fostered at a much younger age.

"We have to start in elementary school for those life skills, the work ethics, the reading, writing and arithmetic that everyone is always talking about. Those have to start in the beginning of their education," said Marilyn Fenimore, bay education foundation president.

The task force hopes to have specific plans soon, and be able to enact those plans next school year.

Wednesday's meeting is the latest in a series that began in October, when sixty-four participants took part in the business-education round table discussion.

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