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Business and School Partnerships Crucial to the Success of Career and Technical Education Programs

 Milton Hershey School CTE program prepares students for the competitive global job market

During National Career and Technical Education month, Milton Hershey School® is celebrating its solid business partnerships that help students grow workplace skills and gain meaningful work experiences within the school’s nationally-recognized CTE program.

“One of the most exciting parts of our program is the relationships we have with businesses in our community,” said Dave Curry, MHS Career and Technical Education. “They’re putting the students to work, and treating them the way they would treat their employees.”

Milton Hershey School’s model of teaming up with area businesses to provide authentic work experiences for underprivileged students provides benefits for both the students and employees. Recommendations for successful partnerships include:

  • Establishing strict guidelines with partners from the beginning is essential to the overall success. Expectations of the work, awareness of workplace soft skills, and guidance and mentorship opportunities are critical decisions to make in order to formulate a strong venture together.
  • These types of partnerships also will enhance the corporate culture. Employees will feel empowered and become increasingly motivated, form long-term goals committing their investment in the company, and feel a strong obligation to mentoring a young person that takes on new meaning.

“Internships help some students solidify what they want to do, but some are also figuring out what they don’t want to do— and that’s beneficial, too,” Curry said.

MHS students are able to choose from 11 different career pathways. Through academic lessons and hands-on instruction, students gain particular job skills through extensive internships, co-ops, job shadowing and/or part-time work. High school seniors in the last seven graduating classes have earned at least one nationally-recognized industry certification.

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