George Lucas Educational Foundation

Partnerships with local businesses...

Partnerships with local businesses...

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I am interested in learning what others (high school) are doing to partner with local businesses. In many technical/vocational programs, students may job shadow and visit local businesses. Is anyone going beyond that? Is anyone involved in apprenticeships or work-study programs? Thanks for any ideas.

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Jim Berman's picture
Jim Berman
Chef Instructor working with 10th, 11th & 12th graders; Wilmington, DE

In our district, a keystone to the three year vocational/technical program is the cooperative education opportunity that students pursue prior to their final year in high school. In essence, upcoming seniors identify an employment opportunity in their career area and work for the employer. The students usually work at the employer's location for two weeks and then return to school for two weeks. The cycle repeats throughout the year.

The benefit to the employer is the rich pool of employees (that comes packaged with all the supports of the school) and potential future employees. For the students, they get to experience genuine industry experience, make some money and establish a work history that can go on a future job application. Additionally, the seniors are out of school for half of the year as they are on their job sites.

It really is a win-win for everybody. There is some more detailed information on our district's page at:

Kathy Baron's picture
Kathy Baron
Former Edutopia reporter and editor, mother of two.

There are some wonderful partnerships in California schools. The high school of digital media and design in San Diego requires students to design a promotional campaign for a nonprofit. The students meet with the group's staff and gather information just as if they were hired professionals. Some of the campaigns are so good that the nonprofits use them.

At Bravo Medical Magnet High School in East Los Angeles, students intern in medical offices and research labs. The top students get to work side-by-side with PhD students at USC Medical Center on state of the art research.

KellyAnn Bonnell's picture
KellyAnn Bonnell
STEAM Integration Manager

I drafted a grant for an amazing collaboration a few years ago between the CTE department of a local high school and a local community theatre. We put building trades students in the scene shop, fashion design students in the costume shop, marketing students work with Public relations, CAD students helped design props. it was well received by students,teachers and families.

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