Ensuring that your city has a strong and able workforce begins with educating the youth of the community. Becoming a responsible citizen, learning endurance and enjoying education, all begins when children are young. These youth will form the majority of the workforce of St. Joseph one day.
United Way’s Profit in Education gathers support from businesses and agencies in the community to help youth see the importance of a good education. The employers encourage the students in their schooling and offer them glimpses of the great jobs they can earn after high school.
Dedicated teachers help guide and educate their students through 9 months of formal schooling each year. When summer hits, education sometimes goes on summer vacation, too. United Way’s program, Reading Adventure, helps children keep reading and learning while they enjoy their summer vacation.
United Way coordinates over 100 volunteers from local businesses to dedicate an hour or two each week during the month of July to read with an elementary age student. Volunteers from businesses like KCP&L and Altec get in touch with their inner child when they walk into the St. Joseph School District Summer Explorers program, sit down with a child, and read with them.
Their encouragement makes an impact on the children they meet and the children look forward to seeing some of the volunteers multiple times in the month of July. They want to show off their improving reading proficiency; reading skills that will strengthen their chances of successfully completing high school someday.
Since Profit in Education began in 1989, the high school dropout rate in St. Joseph has decreased. Through the Profit in Education program BEST (Business and Education Succeed Together) local high school students can see their potential. They can see what it will take for them to get a job that they can enjoy and that offers them a comfortable income.
Employees of local businesses take high school students on tours of their business and explain the different jobs that are offered with their business. Most importantly, these employers stress the importance of having a high school degree and advanced degrees in order to get the jobs at their business.
Many local businesses are partnering with United Way Profit in Education to help build and maintain an educated workforce in St. Joseph:
- Altec Industries
- Bliss Salon
- Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc.
- Collision Repair Specialists
- Commerce Bank
- Gray Manufacturing Company
- Nestle Purina PTC
- St. Joseph News-Press
- St. Joseph Police Department
- United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Missouri
As the students see desirable jobs and opportunities for them in the community, their desire increases to improve their school work and follow through with graduation. Profit in Education’s goal is to see more students walk out of high school with their cap, gown, and diploma.
Graduating at any age is an accomplishment. School has a ladder of graduations and as some youth climb higher it gets more difficult. With the business partnerships that Profit in Education forms, youth are welcomed into the working world of their community with genuine support and encouragement.