Hundreds of chambers of commerce have entered the GrowthZone Annual Chambers of Innovation Competition over the years. The result? An unrivaled library of chamber of commerce program and event ideas.
A Big Book of Chamber Ideas showcases five, chamber-facilitated student development events and programs created to provide a launchpad for post-secondary success. They are innovative, replicable, niche-specific ideas designed to help build the workforce pipeline. In general, the programs focus on entrepreneurship and professional best practices.
Connect Local Business Leaders and Young Entrepreneurs
One of the workforce development programs comes from the Swift Current and District Chamber of Commerce in Saskatchewan, Canada. They recognize that fostering a sense of business community with area students is essential, as today’s youth will be tomorrow’s community leaders.
The Business Connect Banquet, a Chamber initiative, connects local business leaders with young entrepreneurs from the area’s high school and community college. It provides an opportunity for those interested in business and entrepreneurship to learn about the various career paths followed by business owners and managers. During the event, three students and three businesspeople are seated at a table for a four-course meal. Each table focuses on a different industry niche. The students change tables after each course, allowing them to interact with as many people as possible.
Table discussions are focused on helping students develop career paths. The goal is to give advice and share tips on things students may not have considered. The conversation allows for broad dialogue on various industries and exploring different roles within an organization. The discussions also serve to help students hone their interview skills. By putting them in networking situations, they are forced to think on their feet when answering questions about themselves.
Business leaders participate in the event to share their knowledge and help students succeed. Yet, often they gain knowledge themselves, walking away with new ideas and different perspectives provided by the younger generation.
The event concludes with the awarding of a $500.00 scholarship to one student from each institution. The event’s success is representative of the Swift Current business community’s commitment to integrational leadership succession.
Read more event and program ideas in A Big Book of Chamber Ideas to see how your chamber can help build the workforce pipeline and help the next generation of students succeed.
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