Graham Macbeth envisions a world where the local businesses view the Mohonasen school district as a hiring pool — “an asset for the workforce.”
“We want employers to have the opportunity to guide students who are seeking advice on a professional career,” said Macbeth, Community Business Coordinator for the Mohonasen Business Advisory Board. “This board can also serve as a connection hub for our educators and the business community.”
The BAB met for its first meeting of the school year Tuesday, Oct. 8. The board’s goal is to create a space where the school district and local businesses can collaborate to help ensure that students experience positive career and workforce readiness.
The theme of the meeting was “How Can We Help You?” and participating businesses, school district officials and students brainstormed ways to strengthen partnerships.
Sue Petrosino, the co-Coordinator of the BAB, said she and Macbeth have visited about 100 local businesses and community organizations over the last two years.
“We have heard some common concerns among employers,” she said. “One concern is the inability to get connected with a pool of entry-level employees. So in the spirit of today’s theme, we are sharing that we are organizing to help local businesses make these connections.”
Some requests of the board during the brainstorming session include interview skills, basic math skills, more independence, problem-solving, explaining the value of community college and opportunities to connect with parents. Some suggestions for how to make these requests happen include job shadowing, classroom lecture opportunities, financial management and planning simulators, practice with professional emails and having a way to share internship opportunities.
Davyn Gulbrandsen is a 12th-grade student at Mohonasen High School and attended the meeting to start networking with local businesses.
“I took away some valuable necessities for when it comes to applying for a job around the area,” Gulbrandsen said. “Now I have had the opportunity to meet some of these business representatives and can further contact them for a possible job in the future, so they can put a face to my name. I would strongly recommend attending this meeting to anyone who is also looking for a future in business.”
Karen Fox, director of Education Initiatives for the Capital Region Chamber, said she enjoyed Tuesday’s meeting.
“I thought the meeting was great!” Fox said. “It is so great to see Superintendent Shine sees the value and is so supportive of the work (Graham and Petrosino) are both doing for the students and community.”
The next Advisory Board meeting dates are Tuesday, Jan. 14 and Tuesday, May 5. The meetings are from 3:30 to 5 p.m.
If you have any questions or want to get involved, contact Ms. Petrosino at email@example.com or 518-356-8345.