Isle of Wight schools host Business Roundtable Luncheon
Published 11:21 am Saturday, March 5, 2016
ISLE OF WIGHT
On Wednesday, Isle of Wight County Public Schools hosted its first-ever Business Roundtable Luncheon at the Smithfield Center. Principals and teachers from all nine schools met with representatives from local businesses to find out what skills are needed by workers in their companies and what ways educators can prepare students for the workforce.
“The purpose of the Business Round Table Luncheon is to have an open discussion between business leaders and teachers about the highly skilled jobs that exist within our community,” the event program said. “We would also like to discuss how educators can better prepare out students to meet the employment needs of our community. We look forward to developing and strengthening the partnership between the school division and our community.”
The businesses who attended the event were Smithfield Foods, Keurig Green Mountain, VT Agriculture (VALOR), Ameresco, Inc., DaMuth TRANE, GCA Services Group, INC, Honeywell, Liebherr, Huntington-Ingalls (Newport News Shipyard), Surry Nuclear, International Paper, NASA Langley Research Office of Education, Office of General Atomics, Riverside College of Health Careers, Cost Plus World Market Distribution and Farmers Bank.
“The event was a tremendous success,” Isle of Wight County Public Schools Director of Gifted Services, Community and Media Relations Lynn Briggs said. “The room was buzzing with conversations between our staff members and representatives from different businesses and industries.”
Topics of discussion for the business leaders were things like positions within their companies and specific skills lets required for those positions, academics and credentials required to obtain a job at their businesses, soft skills, internships and externships. On the other hand, discussion points for the educators were specific ways they can better prepare their students in the areas indicated by the business leaders to better the students’ chance of obtaining a job with the companies present or those alike.
“We received positive feedback and praise from both our teachers and business members who attended,” Briggs continued. “Several informal partnerships have already been established as a result of the event, with many of the companies agreeing to attend career days in our schools as well as scheduling visits to speak to students about their company, the types of jobs available and the skills needed for those jobs.
It’s exciting to start this line of communication with our area businesses in order to better prepare our students to be highly-skilled employees with these companies after high school.”