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/

COLLEGE SIGNING DAY RECAP

More than 30 students glided across the stage with glee in proclamation of their post-secondary plans at the inaugural Gainesville College Signing Day. Parents, family members, school administrators, friends and members of the Greater Gainesville community gathered to celebrate these students for their scholastic achievements and praise them for pursuing post-secondary education, whether a 4-year university, 2-year college, vocational training or the military. The Greater Gainesville Chamber and its foundation, the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc., d.b.a. the Alachua County Education Compact (ACEC) piloted this event at Celebration Pointe to celebrate graduating seniors. Celebration Pointe served as one of seven sponsors of the event.

“This community believes in celebrating graduates as they close one chapter of their lives and prepare to transition into their post-secondary careers,” said Chamber President and CEO Eric Godet.

Upon arrival, students checked in at the registration desk and were greeted with a raffle ticket and a green-and-blue Campus USA Credit Union bag, which contained a nametag that identified the student’s post-secondary choice, a matching felt pennant, a 2019 college signing day pennant, a Jones Edmunds & Associates, Inc. pen and miscellaneous goodies. Students then joined their family and friends, some dressed in matching college/university attire in solidarity, for pizza provided by Midici and desserts provided by Decadent A Coffee and Dessert Bar. They continued to enjoy the fun-filled atmosphere with music provided by Genius Entertainment, in anticipation of their special moment.

Each student walked across the stage to receive his/her certificate of commitment and shake hands with Godet, who offered words of wisdom and encouragement. Before exiting the stage, each student signed his/her name on a placard filled with logos of universities, colleges, industry-recognized training programs and the varied branches of military. School administrators and parents were also acknowledged.

Godet continued, “As Nelson Mandela previously stated, ‘Education is the most powerful [tool] which you can use to change the world.’ So it was exciting to see the difference that education has made in the lives of these students and their parents and I eagerly await the positive changes that these young adults will make on the world around them.”

Additionally, three students won a duffle bag filled with Bass Pro Shops swag. Group and individual photos marked the end of the high-spirited program, with students, family, friends and even school administrators socializing and dancing into the night. More than 150 people attended the event, in total.

Each principal of Alachua County’s public and private high schools was asked to identify five to 10 graduating seniors to participate in the pilot. “Because of the success of this year’s program, an invitation to participate in next year’s College Signing Day will be extended to all Alachua County graduating high school seniors who plan to transition into a post-secondary career,” said Chamber Vice President of Education and Talent Alignment Ian Fletcher, who is also credited with developing and leading the ACEC. Fletcher decided to bring College Signing Day to Gainesville after attending a College Signing Day program at the White House in July of 2016. “I thought it was essential for our community to host such a program to give our students, their family and school administrators a chance to celebrate our graduates.” Championed by former First Lady Michelle Obama and hosted by schools, organizations, community leaders and influencers, College Signing Day is a chance to rally around students who have committed to higher education. This event is a way to help young people see college as an option, whether at a traditional 4-year college, a 2-year community college or through an industry-recognized training program or with the military. This national campaign was first launched five years ago. For more photos from College Signing Day or more information about the Gainesville Chamber’s Alachua County Education Compact and its events, visit acedcompact.com.

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.