2018 Career Discoveries Day

he Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC), Santa Fe College, and Alachua County Public Schools partner to host the 4th Annual Career Discoveries Day on Saturday, October 13, at Eastside High School from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. located at 1201 SE 43rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32641

Career Discoveries Day is a three-hour workshop that offers middle and high school students and their parents information for career pathways to college and career readiness opportunities. Career Discoveries Day offers students the chance to learn more about exciting career options in Alachua County. Students will get to hear from a keynote and industry speakers and get a chance to ask questions to vendors about their industry sector career opportunity.  The keynote for this year’s event is New York Times Best Selling Author and Eastside graduate, Nathan Whitaker (Through My Eyes with Tim Tebow and Quiet Strength with Tony Dungy). Past keynotes have been John Spence, Joe Cirulli, and Joleen Cacciatore Miller.

Everyone is welcomed to be a part of Career Discoveries Day.  Companies interested in tabling can register at https://members.gainesvillechamber.com/events/details/gainesville-chamber-s-acec-career-discoveries-day-6835

Students and parents interested in attending can register athttps://careerdiscoveriesday.eventbrite.com

For more information about Career Discoveries, visit https://acedcompact.com/career-discoveries/

Junior Achievement /Eastside High School Job Shadow at Mindtree

18 bright students from Eastside High School attended a JA Job Shadow at Mindtree Ltd today, where they learned about the company and careers, heard from the Agile Team, toured the facility, played the Marshmallow Challenge & learned KanBan. Plus lunch in the cafeteria! Thank you to our Mindtree hosts, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce & Alachua County Education Compact for this exceptional opportunity!

Eastside High School Laptop Donation

GRU and CH2M Partner through ACEC to Buy New Laptops for EHS Students
On January 18, 2018, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and CH2M (now Jacobs) presented six new laptop computers to Eastside High School for student use. The partnership was brought about through the Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC), formed by the Chamber after meeting with educators and chamber leaders from Los Angeles to learn about their education compact.
The partnership between the three organizations will help bridge the digital divide and provide positive reinforcement for academic excellence in students who may not have access to technology at home.
Funding is provided through CH2M’s Bikes-n-Bytes, an employee-sponsored program started in 2001 to provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and academics. To date, the program has donated 676 bikes and 147 computers, laptops and tablets to deserving youth at various schools, churches, and youth centers in north Florida.
CH2M has worked with GRU since 1973, helping plan, design, and oversee construction of their water and wastewater facilities.
“Education and employment opportunities go hand-in hand in any community,” said Susan Davenport, President/CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We formed the Alachua County Education Compact to build a bridge between area businesses and our educators — and to make these opportunities possible. We’re proud to have helped bring CH2M and GRU together to help these East Side High School students have more access to the tools and resources they need to succeed in business and life.”

Meet Your Hometown Educator TONIGHT!

Meet & Greet with Karen Clarke,
Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools
Tuesday, January 23 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Clarke, an educator with more than 25 years of experience, will join the Business Community for a conversation on Tuesday, January 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Clarke, raised in Alachua County, will talk about her goals and the challenges facing the school system from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse, located at 201 SE 2nd Ave #102, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Clarke, educated by Alachua County Public Schools, Santa Fe College, and the University of Florida, is a lifelong resident of Alachua County and understands the challenges facing the students of Alachua County.
Karen is passionate about education and has worked with the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact.
Karen was the chair of the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact Strategy Development Committee, leading the group of volunteer educators and business professionals in the development of the six strategies for the Compact. The Chamber invites the business community to come out and meet and greet our superintendent, Karen Clarke.

Eastside High School Laptop Donation

GRU and CH2M Partner through ACEC to Buy New Laptops for EHS Students

On January 18, 2018, Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and CH2M (now Jacobs) presented six new laptop computers to Eastside High School for student use. The partnership was brought about through the Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC), formed by the Chamber after meeting with educators and chamber leaders from Los Angeles to learn about their education compact.
The partnership between the three organizations will help bridge the digital divide and provide positive reinforcement for academic excellence in students who may not have access to technology at home.
Funding is provided through CH2M’s Bikes-n-Bytes, an employee-sponsored program started in 2001 to provide positive reinforcement for good behavior and academics. To date, the program has donated 676 bikes and 147 computers, laptops and tablets to deserving youth at various schools, churches, and youth centers in north Florida.
CH2M has worked with GRU since 1973, helping plan, design, and oversee construction of their water and wastewater facilities.
“Education and employment opportunities go hand-in hand in any community,” said Susan Davenport, President/CEO of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We formed the Alachua County Education Compact to build a bridge between area businesses and our educators — and to make these opportunities possible. We’re proud to have helped bring CH2M and GRU together to help these East Side High School students have more access to the tools and resources they need to succeed in business and life.”

Meet Your Hometown Educator TONIGHT!

Meet & Greet with Karen Clarke,
Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools
Tuesday, January 23 – 5:30pm – 7:30pm
Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Clarke, an educator with more than 25 years of experience, will join the Business Community for a conversation on Tuesday, January 23, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Clarke, raised in Alachua County, will talk about her goals and the challenges facing the school system from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Mark’s Prime Steakhouse, located at 201 SE 2nd Ave #102, Gainesville, FL 32601.
Clarke, educated by Alachua County Public Schools, Santa Fe College, and the University of Florida, is a lifelong resident of Alachua County and understands the challenges facing the students of Alachua County.
Karen is passionate about education and has worked with the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact.
Karen was the chair of the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact Strategy Development Committee, leading the group of volunteer educators and business professionals in the development of the six strategies for the Compact. The Chamber invites the business community to come out and meet and greet our superintendent, Karen Clarke.

Mentors Needed at Howard Bishop Middle School

The Community Partnership School at Howard Bishop Middle School is currently seeking volunteers to serve as mentors for our middle school students.

Mentors will meet with students once a week for one hour during the student’s lunch. Mentors will provide guidance, knowledge, and give the student someone to look up to. The time commitment it takes to be a mentor is very minimal, but the impact can be huge and long lasting. Becoming a mentor for a student during this vital time of their life would be an excellent way to start off the new year.

If you, or any one you know, are interested in becoming a mentor or learning more about the program, email Grace Hinrichs, HBMS Volunteer Coordinator, at mary.hinrichs@chsfl.org or 352-209- 9188.

The Compact To Rethink Education

As the new year approaches, the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact continues to work collectively with our educational partners to build a bridge between the business community and our schools.  We celebrate our 2017 accomplishments in partnering with businesses in our community.

In 2017, the Alachua County Education Compact

  1. Worked with the Reggae Shack, to sponsor East Side High School’s At-Risk Student/Parent dinner. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  2. Worked with Karen Clarke, who served as Deputy Superintendent at the time, to identify local businesses that would support student participation in the 2017 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. We identified sponsors for more than 30 Alachua County Public School students. Eight teams, from J.J. Finley and Norton Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School, participated in the world championship. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy One.
  3. Sponsored a luncheon at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce for the five superintendent finalists. Also, 21 of 28 Compact Signers or member(s) of their organizations spent a half-day interviewing the superintendent finalists. These initiatives are supported by Compact Strategy Three.
  4. Worked with the Community Foundation of North Central Florida and Gift Certificates & More (GCM) to provide funding in support of the Early Learning Development and The Parent Academy training 112 staff members and gifting each staff member with a year’s subscription to GCM Plus. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Two.
  5. Participated in drafting the Director of Educational Equity’s position and participated on the interview panel. The Alachua County Public Schools invited ACEC to participate. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Two.
  6. Worked with Community Foundation of North Central Florida donated funds to reward our District Guidance Counselors achievement of a 12.1% increase in graduating seniors completing the Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Five.
  7. Worked with 4 Rivers Smokehouse provided meals for Eastside High Schools At Promise/ Risk dinners for students and their parents. Worked with Santa Fe College provided four-Asus Tablets for Guidance Counselors for Eastside High School. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  8. Worked with the United Way of North Central Florida to arrange over $22,000 in school supply donations (from Publix Supermarket) to the Compact, who gave it to over 700 students in the Alachua County Public Schools 21st Century Community Learning Centers. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  9. Hosted the 2017 Career Discoveries Day which over 300-students and parents from middle/high school in attendance with over 40-vendors and breakout sessions leaders. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Five.

We look to rethink education in Alachua County in 2018 by introducing new programs like Youth Apprenticeship, Parental Workshop, Young Adult training, and Ed-U-Chat to our community. We ask our business community to continue to donate either their time, talent or treasure to a local school and help our teachers help our students towards the foundation skills they need to progress in this world.

In 2018, we will be working with our Compact Leadership Council to develop the Youth Apprenticeship program.  The Youth Apprenticeship program modeled after the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce where students involved in the Youth Apprentice Program take their normal high school programs and also travel to Trident Technical College two to three days per week where they enrolled in dual credit classes in a specific area. The Parental Workshop modeled after Orange County California Business Council.  Teaches parents how to navigate the education system, empowering parents to support their child from cradle to career, leading parents to become an advocate for their students, and engage parents in career pathway preparation. The young adult training program developed by local advocates, the business community, and our educational institutions will identify students who are in need of pathway opportunities to the career of their future.  Ed-U-Chat is a new community forum to lead discussions about education in our community.

2018, like any other year requires us to continue the progress of the Compact and working to ensure all students have an opportunity for upward mobility in life.  The long-term sustainability of our business community is currently residing in one of the three institutions in our community.  It is vital for the business community to get involved and join us as we work to ensure our students achieve success in the classroom and life.

The Compact Rethink Education

As the new year approaches, the Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact continues to work collectively with our educational partners to build a bridge between the business community and our schools. We celebrate our 2017 accomplishments in partnering with businesses in our community.

The Alachua County Education Compact;

  1. Worked with the Reggae Shack, to sponsor East Side High School’s At-Risk Student/Parent dinner. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  2. Worked with Karen Clarke, who served as Deputy Superintendent at the time, to identify local businesses that would support student participation in the 2017 VEX Robotics World Championship in Louisville, Kentucky. We identified sponsors for more than 30 Alachua County Public School students. Eight teams, from J.J. Finley and Norton Elementary School and Lincoln Middle School, participated in the world championship. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy One.
  3. Sponsored a luncheon at the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce for the five superintendent finalists. Also, 21 of 28 Compact Signers or member(s) of their organizations spent a half-day interviewing the superintendent finalists. These initiatives are supported by Compact Strategy Three.
  4. Worked with the Community Foundation of North Central Florida and Gift Certificates & More (GCM) to provide funding in support of the Early Learning Development and The Parent Academy training 112 staff members and gifting each staff member with a year’s subscription to GCM Plus. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Two.
  5. Participated in drafting the Director of Educational Equity’s position and participated on the interview panel. The Alachua County Public Schools invited ACEC to participate. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Two.
  6. Worked with Community Foundation of North Central Florida donated funds to reward our District Guidance Counselors achievement of a 12.1% increase in graduating seniors completing the Free Application Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Five.
  7. Worked with 4 Rivers Smokehouse provided meals for Eastside High Schools At Promise/ Risk dinners for students and their parents. Worked with Santa Fe College provided four-Asus Tablets for Guidance Counselors for Eastside High School. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  8. Worked with the United Way of North Central Florida donated over $22,000 in school supplies (from Publix Supermarket) to the Compact, who gave it to over 700 students in the Alachua County Public Schools 21st Century Community Learning Centers. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Six.
  9. Hosted the 2017 Career Discoveries Day which over 300-students and parents from middle/high school in attendance with over 40-vendors and breakout sessions leaders. This initiative is supported by Compact Strategy Five.

We look to rethink education in Alachua County in 2018 by introducing new programs like Youth Apprenticeship, Parental Workshop, Young Adult training, and Ed-U-Chat to our community. We ask our business community to continue to donate either their time, talent or treasure to a local school and help our teachers help our students towards the foundation skills they need to progress in this world.

In 2018, we will be working with our Compact Leadership Council to develop the Youth Apprenticeship program. The Youth Apprenticeship program modeled after the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce where students involved in the Youth Apprentice Program take their normal high school programs and also travel to Trident Technical College two to three days per week where they enrolled in dual credit classes in a specific area. The Parental Workshop modeled after Orange County California Business Council. Teaches parents how to navigate the education system, empowering parents to support their child from cradle to career, leading parents to become an advocate for their students, and

engage parents in career pathway preparation. The young adult training program developed by local advocates, the business community, and our educational institutions will identify students who are in need of pathway opportunities to the career of their future. Ed-U-Chat is a new community forum to lead discussions about education in our community.

2018, like any other year requires us to continue the progress of the Compact and working to ensure all students have an opportunity for upward mobility in life. The long-term sustainability of our business community is currently residing in one of the three institutions in our community. It is vital for the business community to get involved and join us as we work to ensure our students achieve success in the classroom and life.

Alachua County Education Compact Donates $22,000 to Local Public Schools

Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce leads partnership effort with the School Board of Alachua County, United Way of North Central Florida and Publix to provide school supplies to local students in need

Recently, the Alachua County Education Compact gave more than $22,000 in school supplies to Alachua County Public Schools. The supplies were donated for use in the School District’s
21st Century Learning Centers (21st CCLC), which operate in 12 schools. The supplies were part of a lot of school supplies originally donated by Publix to the United Way of Central Florida. Both the United Way of North Central Florida and the Alachua County School District are represented by signers of the Alachua County Education Compact.

Thank you for making it possible for our students to receive the wonderful supplies. Irby’s students are in Kindergarten through Second Grade and they love to color and draw. They have been very excited about the big boxes of crayons. The other supplies will be very helpful during homework time. We really appreciate your generosity and kindness.

Joan Imler
Media Aide | Site Tech
21st Century Co-Coordinator
Irby Elementary

“The Compact’s donation to students served by 21st Century Learning Centers is a perfect representation of how the Compact is designed to work,” said Compact Steering Committee Chair Dug Jones, who also serves as Associate Vice President for Economic Development for Santa Fe College. “As the Compact’s lead entity, the Chamber’s connection to business, community, and education worked to the benefit of these students by facilitating a contribution via an existing collaboration.”

The Alachua County Education Compact is formulated as a “Collective Impact model.” That is, it represents the Compact signers’ commitment to a common agenda for addressing a single specific issue: aligning education opportunities with industry needs to create pathways to success for Alachua County students. Additionally, a Collective Impact model calls for a single organization or entity to function as a “backbone organization” to lead and staff the initiative’s activities.

I would like to take a minute to say thank you. The supplies are greatly appreciated and needed. The supplies were needed and will be used. The students will have to supplies to complete homework and other projects.

Sylenia Browning
21st Coordinator
Lake Forest Elementary

The Chamber undertook this role when the Compact was signed and continues to execute in that capacity through leadership of initiatives such as Career Discoveries, FAFSA Night, as well as its donation to the County School system and others. Collectively, the Compact has touched more than 1,500 students, parents, businesses, educators, guidance counselors and community members.

“Our 21st Century students will certainly benefit from this generous donation,” said Alachua County Public Schools Superintendent Karen Clarke. “We’ve had the pleasure of working with the Education Compact since it was established, and it’s been very effective at bringing the community together partners and leveraging local resources to support education.”

The district’s 21st CCLC after-school programs provide students with academic support, recreation, and other enrichment activities to promote their success both in and out of school.

On behalf of the students and staff of 21st CCLC at Idylwild Elementary, we would like to send a huge HUG of THANKS to you for donating these much-needed supplies to our program.  We are so grateful and cannot wait to put the supplies to great use for our students.  Thank you very much! 😉

Lilliemarie A. Gore
4th Grade Teacher
Idylwild Elementary

“Our mission is to positively impact the eduction, health and financial stability of people living in this region,” said United Way of North Central Florida President/CEO Deborah Bowie. “We are so pleased that our role as a partner to the Chamber and a signer of the Alachua County Education Compact has facilitated an immediate use for these school supplies–which were so generously donated to us by Publix prior to the beginning of the school year–that will assist children today instead of leaving them packed away until next school year.”

I just received the shipment of supplies that you were kind enough to donate to the 21st Century program at Alachua Elementary School. I cannot thank you enough for your generosity. Our students will benefit so much from having access to a wealth of supplies this year. It’s people like you who give our most vulnerable students one more reason to be successful. We are truly appreciative.

Renee Long
4th Grade Teacher/21st Century Site Coordinator
Alachua Elementary School

Since 2015, the Compact has continued to garner support and gain momentum. It has added two signers and made great strides in aligning the 28 signers’ resources and activities to support the six goals, including:

  • Career Discoveries Day, which provides a forum for students and parents to interact with businesses and education institutions to identify career pathways.
  • FAFSA Night at Eastside High, which assists students and parents in filling out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to connect them to financial resources that mitigate-or sometimes eliminate-costs associated with attending college.
  • Collaboration with the Santa Fe College Blount Center Advisory Council to help low-income students navigate classes at Santa Fe College.
  • Support and enhancement of high-quality teaching and learning through the provision of training to guidance counselors in the Alachua County Public School District.
  • Support for community and policy initiatives that advance school programs, such as the One Mill for Alachua County Public Schools, as well as school infrastructure, such as i3 (The Chamber’s Putting Children First Infrastructure Investment Initiative).
  • Support for SWAG’s (South West Advocacy Group) efforts to establish a Children’s Service Advisory Committee in Alachua County.

This year, the Compact has focused on prioritizing the development and use of a community asset map, a system and process for metrics and data collection, an evolved structure to support its mission and goals, and an action plan to keep signers engaged in advancing Phase I goals.

It is around this time of year that people start to talk about things that they are thankful for.

Today I am thankful for you, Mr. Fletcher.

Thank you so much for the generous donation of supplies. Metcalfe is considered one of the “high needs” schools in Alachua County. Your support and donations make such a HUGE difference in programs like 21st Century. These supplies will be used throughout the school year and will be given to the students who are in need.

Thank you for thinking of Metcalfe Elementary!
Thank you for making a difference!

Brandy Bradshaw
21st Century Director
Metcalfe Elementary