Business partnerships to be featured at summit

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Abernathy

BELOIT - Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Aimee Thurner is inviting everyone to this year's Business Education Partnership Summit to learn about the positive relationship between area educational institutions and the business community as they try to prepare youth for the workforce.

"It's a great opportunity for the community to see what we see every day," Thurner said.

The event will take place from 7:30 a.m. - 10 a.m. on Aug. 29 at Blackhawk Technical College, 6004 S. County G, and reservations currently are being accepted from business leaders and educators in the area. The Greater Beloit Economic Development Corporation and the Greater Beloit Chamber of Commerce will host the event.

Thurner said the event showcases some successful stories of local businesses which have capitalized on workforce trends. In addition to breakfast and a little inspiration, people will be treated to the South Beloit Band students who will be providing entertainment in the morning.

The summit will show the different collaborations between the business community and area schools, educational institutions and Hendricks CareerTek.

"This collaboration is starting to pay off for companies, and we want to hear from them," Thurner said.

The event begins at 7:30 a.m., and will feature a keynote address by Ted Abernathy, managing partner with Economic Leadership LLC, who will discuss his firm's research findings on Wisconsin's Workforce trends. A light breakfast will be provided by Blackhawk Technical College's Culinary Arts Program.

Abernathy has 38 years of experience in directing local and regional economic development and workforce development programs and later directing a leading economic policy think tank. Over the past five years Abernathy has worked on close to 100 projects including designing an innovation ecosystem for a new science city in Kenya, producing an annual Home of Future Thinking conference, and creating a new company that assesses and improves group leadership.

The theme for this year's summit is "Trends Shaping Our Future." In keeping with this theme the event will feature a panel discussion of local business leaders including: Careertek Executive Director Tina Salzman, Beloit Health System President and CEO Tim McKevett, Frito-Lay Director of Engineering and Maintenance Rob Hendrickson, Economic Development Manager James Otterstein and President of Precision Plus Mike Reader.

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Executive Director Kurt Bauer will facilitate the panel discussion and those in attendance will be encouraged to ask questions.

Stanley Munro, newly hired superintendent for the School District of Beloit, will be on hand to offer a few remarks on his vision for the future of the district.

New this year will be eight student representatives from South Beloit, Turner and Beloit Memorial high schools will present their ideas that they generated by participating in a Hack-a-thon. This event held prior to the summit matched these students with a local company, Frito-Lay, to explore a real word business challenge with the ultimate goal of finding a viable solution.

The cost is $15 for general admission and $10 for students to attend the event. Registrations are being accepted until Aug. 23 at www.greaterbeloitchamber.org.

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