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Four days. Three industries. 11 school districts. 23 businesses. 31 teachers. The impact on our workforce—exponential.
Beginning next week, the Greater Ozarks Centers for Advanced Professional Studies will send teachers from across the Springfield region into area businesses to find out first-hand what skills are needed for students looking at career opportunities in the Ozarks.
The four-day teacher externship program is designed to serve as an extension of the GO CAPS program which helps students uncover new career pathways through experiential learning at area businesses.
Twenty-three businesses have signed up to host teachers from the 11 school districts participating in the GO CAPS program. The businesses and business divisions hosting teachers fall within three target industries—medicine and health care, engineering and manufacturing, and technology solutions.
In February, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce entered into a contract with Springfield Public Schools and 10 other area school districts to manage GO CAPS. Under the agreement Lindsay Haymes, manager of business assistance for the chamber, was designated to serve as Executive Director of the program.
“Only a limited number of students can participate in the GO CAPS program itself right now,” Haymes said. “By offering this externship program to teachers across the region, we’re taking the GO CAPS philosophy of connecting education and business into the districts and into the classrooms where we can have a much broader impact.”
Once on site, each business has created a customized experience for each teacher which may include a site tour, helping on small projects, an overview of industry trends and workforce needs, sitting in on management meetings, or brainstorming recommendations for classroom projects.
In addition to the time they spend at area businesses, teachers will also hear from community and business leaders through an industry panel discussion and other sessions focused on the importance of engaging business, labor and skill set trends, and what employers are looking for in employees.
At the conclusion of the program, teachers will participate in a debrief session and brainstorm ways to take what they learned back to their home district.