Chamber will bring high school students together with businesses

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Many writers, economists and business experts say to address the “skills gap” technical education and manufacturing need an image boost. Students and parents need to see technical careers as clean, well-paying jobs that require more brains than brawn.

Bravo to the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) for initiating a partnership between businesses and high schools to provide meaningful opportunities for students to gain experience and explore careers.

The Chamber is hiring a staff member to facilitate mentoring relationships between businesses and students. The effort will support the Wisconsin Youth Apprenticeship program, the first and largest in the country. Students in Youth Apprenticeships earn college credit while enrolled in high school.

Jennifer Alexander, GMCC president, says the initiative came from the business community’s interest in developing a strong workforce. Her immediate goal is to place 30 students with local businesses.

These kind of links between the business world and education will help motivate students to engage in their education and continue to seek job-related training after high school. Hopefully, more communities will follow their lead so more students will be exposed to their future careers and see the connection between education and a job they will enjoy.