In 2016, BBEC facilitated venues for people throughout the community to interact directly with students in the schools.
The Higher Education Campus Visit program brought 3,821 ninth graders into direct contact with students and staff at the five Berks County based colleges and universities. Similarly, the Students Interacting with Business program engaged 3,803 ninth and tenth graders with employers at the business sites to learn directly about the requirements and opportunities for employment within the greater Berks County community.
The BBEC has taken a proactive lead the past three years to encourage schools to include an internship elective in the senior year curriculum. Three years ago, three school districts offered internship programs. Beginning with the 2017/2018 school year, 13 of the 18 Berks County school districts will have included the internship elective in their curricula. One goal is to have 10% of the senior year county-wide cohort, 500 students, participating in an internship elective, interacting one to one with employees at a similar number of businesses and organizations, learning in-depth about a possible career and/or employment path post high school.
The above programs are rewarding for students and adults alike. The students broaden their knowledge of career opportunities. The interacting adults are giving back with the satisfaction that they have enriched the lives of the next generation.