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Huron County, OH – The Huron County Teacher Business Bootcamp, an innovative program designed to bridge the gap between classroom learning and local industry careers, has successfully completed its third annual session. Funded by the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation and organized by North Point Educational Service Center and Huron County Growth Partnership, this year’s program welcomed 9 dedicated educators from across Huron County.

The primary objective of the Teacher Business Bootcamp is to empower educators with firsthand knowledge of local industries and career opportunities, enabling them to better guide and inspire their students toward viable career paths within the region. Participating teachers engaged in immersive business tours at Janotta & Herner, Berry Global, Sunrise Cooperative, Fisher-Titus, Pepperidge Farms, and Firelands Electric Cooperative.

In addition to industry visits, teachers also completed coursework focused on the future of the workforce, equipping them with the latest insights into skill requirements and career prospects in various sectors. Their experiences will directly benefit approximately 930 students during the upcoming 2024-25 school year, as they impart their newfound knowledge gained from the bootcamp.

Teacher participant Mary Ann Zehner from New London Local Schools shared, “Even as a seasoned 30-year educator, I’m NEVER fully aware of all the potential opportunities for student growth. This teacher bootcamp experience exemplified my desire to model lifelong learning and encourage my rural students to explore and strive for new experiences.”

Due to the resounding success of the Teacher Business Bootcamp, organizers have expanded the initiative to include a new offering, the Teacher Bootcamp 2.0 Experience. This extension allows alumni of the initial program to delve deeper into additional local businesses and gain further insights into career pathways. In its inaugural session, 8 teachers visited Ploger Transportation where they discussed skills needed to be a driver and benefits of their careers. Teachers then visited the Huron County Sheriff’s Office to learn about dispatching and the types of students that may be a good fit to work in their office.

“This experience completely changed the way I am going to approach teaching my class. Previously it was just content, but I think I can make a bigger impact and better connections if the students see what is available to them in their own county. I think every teacher should take this course and I will be encouraging all my coworkers to do so” said Marina Mahl, teacher participant from Willard City Schools.