2019 at your Faribault Chamber of Commerce was busy and productive!
With forward motion on our top priorities comes fresh opportunities to continue the lift for our business community. Today I want to outline one specific example of moving a priority forward; Why we chose to actively pursue and support a 7-period day in Faribault High School.
FPS had to make some drastic cuts in the early 1980’s that included paring down the High School class day from 7 to 6 class periods. State cuts and a short supply of surplus funds meant this had to happen. The 7th period didn’t come back. During the next years more required classes from the State ate away at the time our students could take electives or remedial/make-up courses. Our District was offering over an entire semester of electives LESS than every other school in our region. Open enrollment allowed some of our more mobile families to place students into nearby secondary schools where students could fit the electives into their school day and not need to take online courses or summer school. These out-enrollments hurt our district funding even more.
The lack of capacity in the school day is specifically a hindrance when prepping for a career in the technical sciences. Most curriculum offered and required is college preparedness oriented and the lack of a 7th period also hindered the ability to do job shadowing, mentorships and other tech career exploration activities. But no more!
With the passage of the levy funding the additional classes comes opportunities to collaborate around technical science paths between Faribault High School and South Central College. No time has been wasted. The teams at FHS and SCC have been meeting with industry partners to formulate the most relevant curriculum in Health Sciences to be offered in the 2020/21 school year. Allina Health, Mayo, Northfield Hospital/Clinics and Monarch (Emeralds & Pleasant Manor) have been sharing their expertise in providing the most important and up to date needs so that our high schoolers can be best prepared for a successful career in Health Care. The best part is that as FHS and SCC work together both schools become stronger in supporting our community and region. Your Chamber is proud to be a part of this team.
The next effort starting very soon will bring our education partners together with our manufacturing businesses to ensure that those student pursuing mechanic/electrical/engineering tech careers have the same advantage of robust local Business Education Networks (BEN). Great careers in manufacturing are waiting for our Faribault students right here at home and our industry partners will be a part of preparing them for success.
The Minnesota Chamber Foundation has recently started a BEN task force and the Faribault Chamber is a part of that group. BEN connects employers with middle, high school and college students to make them aware of and prepare them for career opportunities in their communities. Local communities in partnership with local chambers of commerce develop their own programs to respond to local needs. That’s exactly what we’re doing with our Faribault partners and we couldn’t be more proud.
I’m looking forward to sharing progress on our other priorities soon.
Faribault Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism