A new educational initiative of the Chamber of Commerce Brantford-Brant, developed in partnership with local school boards, is proving to be a smart solution to the long-existing challenge of connecting business to high school students in need of workplace learning opportunities.
The School to Business Placement Portal is an online tool where businesses and organizations can register co-op and volunteer opportunities for high school students at the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board and the Grand Erie District School Board. Students and teachers can go to the portal, enter criteria for the type of placement they are seeking, and a list of matching opportunities is generated.
Within four weeks of going live, over 80 placements have been registered. This number is expected to multiply significantly as more businesses become aware of it.
Efficiencies for Busy People
In the past, businesses wishing to provide student workplace opportunities had to contact each of the school boards, find out who they needed to speak with, perhaps leave a message, and then send off the required information. Because this is a partnership with both school boards, information is available to all high school students and teachers in the area, across both boards, as soon as it is processed by portal administrators at the Chamber.
Addresses Volunteer Needs of Not-for-Profit Community
In addition to providing the experiential learning opportunities required for various co-op and high skills majors programs at local high schools, the portal is also a place where not-for-profits can register for volunteer assistance from students looking to acquire the 40 hours of volunteer service needed for graduation. Businesses that hold charitable fundraising events can also use the portal for volunteer support.
Building a Skilled Workforce
The Chamber of Commerce believes that the practicality, efficiency, and accessibility of the portal will see a greater number of businesses stepping up to support the education of local youth, which, in turn, will provide students with a greater range of career possibilities, and perhaps put them on a career path that they may not have considered otherwise. The result is a workforce populated with individuals skilled for jobs available in the local market. Everybody wins. Now that’s smart.
Click to find out more about the School to Business Placement portal.