KXLY TV, Spokane’s ABC affiliate, has a “Made in the Northwest” feature it’s been running for a number of months. The series features manufacturers in the Spokane region.
This week, we partnered with a number of local groups to host “Building Business. Building Careers.” The event was a combined manufacturing expo and career fair that allowed area middle and high school students to explore various careers, and allowed manufacturers and suppliers to connect and grow their businesses.
This all fit perfectly into KXLY’s “Made in the Northwest” theme:
It’s that time of year when career fairs pop up and students of many ages apply for jobs or explore career and higher education options. While career expos are important for students, they are also important for businesses and the broader community.
The career fairs we’ve held the past few years focus on middle and high school students. While a few of them will potentially be working for area companies within the next five years, it’s important for businesses to introduce their industry to kids who might not otherwise know much about them. While teachers are tasked with teaching skills, it’s part of the business community’s role to find the skilled students and introduce them to various careers.
That’s where we come in.
We help our community connect our youth with potential career paths after they graduate. We work to prepare a skilled workforce to fill the needs of various industries. Facilitating a career expo is one way we do that. Businesses that exhibit are able to introduce their work and their industry to kids who are just beginning to think about their post-secondary education. Businesses will be able to promote the skills needed to be a successful employee.
For instance, an interior design company could talk with students about the math skills needed (same goes for a construction company). A digital media company could talk to students about what technological skills are needed in that industry. A health care company can ask students about their science knowledge.
Some of the high school students might already have part-time jobs. Businesses can talk with those students and connect the skills the students currently use to various career options. Helping our area youth learn about the skills and experience needed to be successful helps our future economy.
Businesses are wise to exhibit at career expos. It gives them a chance to talk with students directly about the skills and education needed to enter their particular industry. Preparing students as they choose their post-secondary option and head into the working world benefits them and our area businesses.
By now, you’ve heard about STEM Education. Advancing STEM Education reforms is something Greater Spokane Incorporated has been involved in for the past few years, along with a number of regional partners.
Praising the virtues of STEM Education is one thing, but getting reforms enacted is another, and the ultimate goal of “STEM Madness” is to grow the number of graduates with STEM-related degrees, thus helping our region and state (and nation, too) fill STEM-related jobs.
But words in an Inaugural Address are one thing, while taking action is another. Governor Inslee showed that he would back up his praise of STEM Education when he testified in support of a bill in the House that would create a STEM Education Innovation Alliance to serve as an advisory council to the governor.
It raises an interesting point – computer programming lessons spur thoughts and ideas. Technology is moving so fast, our economy depends on it and the workforce needs to know how to keep up. Keeping up starts with our schools, which is where your future workforce is trained.
We help connect the business and education communities in ways that prepare for the future. At our annual Economic Forecast breakfast last November, Avista’s Chief Economist – Dr. Grant Forsyth – opined that our current education system isn’t preparing kids for our current economy.
We also facilitate a K-12 roundtable where members of the business and education communities meet to talk about how to best prepare today’s kids. Our Higher Education Leadership Group (HELG) also tackles education issues at the higher education level. The leaders of our area colleges and universities make up HELG and work together to promote and enhance higher education in our region.
What do you think? Does this video get it right, in that more computer programming classes are needed in our schools?
Most of the more than 1,000 attendees at this year’s Annual Meeting left with new knowledge of how the aerospace industry impacts our region.
We’ve written about it before, but let’s rehash: There are more than 80 direct and indirect suppliers to the industry in the region. Those companies employ more than 8,000 (!) people. A number of them supply to Boeing, which – if you haven’t heard – is building the new 737MAX in its Renton plant.
James Albaugh, Boeing’s Executive Vice President and our Annual Meeting keynote speaker, said Boeing expects to deliver nearly 600 airplanes this year, about 100 more than it delivered last year.
At the brand new Mobius Science Center in downtown Spokane, experiential learning is all the craze. Learning by doing and experimenting helps kids solve problems. It helps people innovate and figure out the right and wrong ways to accomplish something.
Mobius is full of experiential learning exhibits – a few of which we visited this week.
Brad Skalstad is a Workforce and Public Policy intern here at Greater Spokane Incorporated and a recent graduate of Shadle Park High School. He’ll attend the University of Washington in the fall and hopes to enter the medical field someday. Here are his thoughts on how STEM education can shape our future.
The first day of school is upon us once again. As a recent high school graduate, I know all too well the stress a new school year brings. For many students, the sudden shift from freedom to structure can be overwhelming. But change isn’t limited to the students. What would happen if we sponsored freedom, ingenuity, and creativity by allowing students to learn in the real world? Let me share a DREAM with you.
Despite this week’s report that U.S. manufacturing shrank in June for the first time in three years, manufacturing is not dead.
According to the Association of Washington Business (AWB), manufacturers in Washington State have an annual economic impact of $132.2 billion, export $52.4 billion in goods each year, and support 258,000 other jobs in the manufacturing export industry.
Numbers like that aren’t symptoms of a dying industry. (more…)
What happens when you take a group of teachers and turn them into students for a day? They crash planes, spin until they are dizzy and run around a dark room playing with night vision goggles. Keep reading and you will find out why.