Today, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce announced a $15,000 Aspire grant from AT&T to support the expansion of career immersion through a marriage of leadership and career academy principles throughout the high school years for each of our area high schools in the Bowling Green Independent and Warren County school districts, as well as the Warren County Area Technology Center.
Creating a robust pipeline of well-trained talent to support our businesses and grow our economy is top priority at the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce. In that pursuit, the Chamber has been the driving force in convening partners to offer educational programs and services in Warren County that directly benefit our businesses and job seekers alike.
Building on the momentum achieved through implementation of the principles of the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People in elementary and middle schools, the AT&T Aspire grant will allow the Chamber to begin to map out a path toward continuing that leadership training through the lens of career immersion in all area high schools. The Chamber will collaborate with schools as they work to integrate a career academy model with Covey leadership principles to create a curriculum that prepares students for both career and college. The final goal is for every high school graduate to have learned and applied leadership skills such as being proactive, accountable, resourceful, and professional to the hard skills associated with earning a nationally portable industry certification.
According to Chamber CEO Ron Bunch, “Talent is the Chamber’s top priority. We work every day to ensure that our companies have the highly skilled talent pipeline they need to succeed. I would like to thank AT&T for their commitment to this community. The Aspire grant will allow us to create a national model of leadership infused career training that will produce highly skilled, well-trained talent that is career and college ready on the day they graduate. This is a monumental day for South Central Kentucky.”
The Chamber has been a leader in developing talent initiatives that extend from the earliest opportunity in elementary school to postsecondary education to initiatives for incumbent workers. In 2011, the Chamber organized a group of private investors to implement Franklin Covey’s The Leader In Me (TLIM) leadership training in all schools, K-12 in Warren County – the first initiative of its kind in the nation. In middle school, students continue with leadership training and begin exploring their future interests. On November 9 and 10, Bowling Green and Warren County 8th and 9th grade students will participate in SCK LAUNCH Experience, a hands on career expo centered on six key regional business sectors that will have the highest demand for talent over the next decade. Once to the high school level, thanks in large part to AT&T, students will continue learning leadership skills while they focus more directly on career interests. With these initiatives, Bowling Green and Warren County students will graduate with a strong career focus and the leadership skills to support a long and successful career.
“AT&T is committed to Kentucky and we are honored to support the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and their mission to grow the local economy by creating a career ready workforce,” said Hood Harris, president, AT&T Kentucky. “Our company’s future, as well as the country’s, is dependent on today’s young people. Through Aspire, we support programs that invest in students, especially those who need it the most, so they can walk across the graduation stage ready for their future.”
“Talent to support our growing economy is vital to this community. I would like to thank AT&T for their vision and generosity. This grant will allow Warren County to once again create a national model for education,” said Warren County Judge Executive Mike Buchanon.
“I am delighted to see AT&T make such an important commitment to the education and training of our students here in Warren County. We truly appreciate their shared vision and support of our community,” said Bruce Wilkerson, Mayor of the City of Bowling Green.
For more information on the AT&T Aspire Grant Program, visit http://about.att.com/content/csr/home/possibilities/at-t-aspire.html
About the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce:
Incorporated in 1935, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce is a 5-Star Accredited Chamber by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and was named the 2009 Chamber of the Year by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. As the fourth largest chamber in Kentucky, the Chamber serves as a premier business advocate for its more than 1,200 partners and is the driving force for economic development in South Central Kentucky. Its primary goals are to promote growth and success in the business community, reaching its small business partners and those in large industries alike. With leadership programs, governmental relations projects, educational initiatives and involvement opportunities, the Chamber aims to support the community and its neighbors in order to enhance the business climate and continue to grow the region.
AT&T is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature philanthropic initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. Through Aspire, we’ve passed the $250 million mark on our plan to invest $350 million in education from 2008-2017.