BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (WBOY) — The Harrison County Chamber of Commerce held its “Business at Breakfast” a bit differently in April. It began at 8 a.m. located the White Oaks Holiday Inn Express on April 14.

This month’s topic was more than just business; it involved education as well.

Dr. Geraldine Beckett, the new career and technical education (CTE) liaison specialist at the Harrison County Board of Education (BOE), shared her ideas of businesses partnering with early education school systems to bring in job shadowing and internship opportunities. Just a few of the topics she delivered included:

  • Plans the BOE would like to start up
  • How students job shadowing benefits businesses
  • How job shadowing and internships benefit students in early education
  • Resources and programs already instilled in the county

Internships and job shadowing typically begin at the college level, but not all students seek out a higher education. This is why Dr. Beckett would like to use her new position to bring in more workforce opportunities to early education students.

According to Dr. Beckett, giving students this early experience will help expose them to different skill sets. This could also save time and money for students who seek higher education, so they already know what they do not like to do. The BOE is hoping that through the communication and relationships that are being built, it will better serve students when entering the workforce, as well as businesses in expanding its workforces.

So why is this important? Dr. Beckett said, “bringing in business into education, and education into business, they are one in the same, and you have to have that for economic development. So, we’re trying to use what we have in our public systems – the expertise we have, the resources we have to make Clarksburg and Bridgeport what we want it to be.”

Many guest speakers delivered messages on programs and ideas around the county, they are:

  • Liberty High School agriculture internship with Clarksburg Water Board (CWB) and West Virginia Rural Water Association – Jason Myers, General Manager and speaker, Robert Davis, Plant Superintendent/Trainer/Mentor and guest, Paul J. Howe III, CWB President and guest.
  • Internships with United High School WORK Program – Matt McCullough, WORK Program Job coach and speaker, Jan Snell, WORK Program job coach and speaker, Jasalyn Arnett, WORK Program student and speaker, Pat Boggess, Lincoln High School Assistant Principal and guest.
  • Internships, Job Shadowing and an overview of CTE Programs in our schools – Dr. Geraldine Beckett

Dr. Geraldine Beckett created an online form for employers to let the BOE know what their needs are or how they can get more involved in the school systems. Some of these examples include judging fairs or festivals, being an advisor to a CTE program or being a speaker. If you are interested in filling out this form, you can find it at this link, through the QR code on the last slide.

The next Business at Breakfast event will be held on Friday, May 5, at the White Oaks Holiday Inn Express. Topics for the next two meetings have not been released yet, but you can find more information at this link as details are updated.

These events are free, in which business leaders are encouraged to attend.