Provided by Prince William Chamber of Commerce
The Prince William Chamber of Commerce Education & Innovation Committee has recently been working closely with Manassas City Public Schools to get a new program off the ground: Work-based learning opportunities for local students. Beginning this month, the Chamber will actively seek businesses who want to offer local students real-world work experience in cooperation with teachers and administrators at Osbourn High School.
Susan McNamara, Career and Technical Education Supervisor for the City’s Schools describes their work-based learning program: “Osbourn High School students who enroll in our Career and Technical Education programs are provided with training, not only in the technical aspects of their chosen fields, but also in communication and soft skills—things like how to answer phones in a place of business or how to interact with customers. Interested businesses provide opportunities for the students to come and work for them, then offer feedback to both the students and their teachers, creating a synergistic relationship between local businesses and public educators. The entire idea is to create a pipeline of workers that businesses want to hire and who are college and career bound.”
Suzanne Lewis, Director of Community Outreach for the Prince William Chamber adds, “The Chamber’s Education and Innovation Committee has been searching for a way to add a more hands-on approach for workforce development with their programming. This absolutely fits the bill. Over and over we hear our member businesses say that soft skills can be one of the hardest things to find in potential employees. The Manassas City school system is providing their students—and the business community—with a valuable advantage by integrating that into their work-based learning initiatives.”
“This is a huge accomplishment for our committee,” says Eugene Brown, Vice Chair of the Education and Innovation Committee. “Connecting the business community to our students through the Chamber is not only essential, but a no-brainer. This public-private partnership is the game-changer our community needed.”
Expansion into Prince William County and City of Manassas Park Public Schools is hoped for in the near future. For more information on available opportunities visit pwchamber.org/cte.
Currently Osbourn High School Career and Technical Education is pursuing work-based learning opportunities for students in all areas of business and industry. If you are interested please contact Paul Steiner, Career and Technical Education Administrator, Osbourn High School: 571-377-7065, [email protected].