CWSHRM is partnering with the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce and the D.C. Everest School District on a groundbreaking program called Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA).
The program will take students through the process of starting and running a real business over the course of a full academic year, as well as give students great business training and high level skill training for every career pathway.
The outcomes of the program include offering a 1 credit, full-year class at D.C. Everest Senior High School. The course will be offered as a unique partnership with the local business community. A local investor panel will select one student to compete in an all-expense paid regional competition where the finalist will be selected to compete for scholarship money at an all-expense paid national competition in Washington, D.C.
Both the Wausau Chamber and CWSHRM will both serve as the conduit between the school, the community and businesses. The Wausau Chamber and CWSHRM will recruit local businesses to participate in guest speaking opportunities, to provide field trip opportunities, serve as mentors, secure sponsors to provide funding, and sit on the investor panel.
The District will deliver the curriculum to the students by providing a facility and the instruction for the class. The instructor will receive three, three hour blocks of professional development from Young Entrepreneurs Academy spread throughout the year and participate in a weekly 30 minute conference call with national YEA staff.
Students will participate in a competitive application process to gain a seat in the program. Students accepted into the program will participate in field trips and learn from guest speakers in the fields of marketing, accounting, web design, law, human resources and a variety of other relevant fields. Students will pitch their business plan to an investor panel where they will compete for startup funds to launch their business.
Students were able to apply for consideration by going through the application in late December 2014/January 2015, with the class starting in Fall 2015 and running for the full 2015-2016 academic year. The Regional competition will be in the spring of 2016 and the National competition will be in mid-June 2016.
The offering will get students to make good career decisions and help them understand the connection between succeeding in high school and career success, as well as introducing students to local CWSHRM, Chamber and businesses. The offering will promote job creation, economic development and growth among the students, and will demonstrate CWSHRM’s, the District’s, the Chamber’s and the community’s commitment to youth talent development and entrepreneurship. It is designed to align with CWSHRM Workforce Readiness goals, assist the Chamber in its mission to help local businesses develop and succeed, and District goals of providing opportunities that will result in a highly educated, skilled and motivated workforce for a vibrant, globally competitive economy.
Blog post submitted by Krissy Rodewald, Past-President of CWSHRM.