Editor's note: This article was corrected on Tuesday morning to say "Rebecca Ruth" instead of Ruth Hunt Candies.
Franklin County Schools teachers spent Monday with local businesses to learn ways they can teach students how to get jobs in the community.
The trips were part of the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce's IMPACT program, which fosters relationships between schools and businesses that will help students be prepared for a career. Some of the businesses were Jim Beam, Frankfort Plant Board, Franklin County Health Department, B's Bakery, Rebecca Ruth, CENTRIA, Art's Electric, Capital Plaza Hotel, Harry Kirch at Crossroads Ford and Franklin County Fiscal Court. This particular event is called Teachers Academy, which was first held last summer.
Cathy Crump, a business and careers teacher at Elkhorn Middle School, said that some of her students are already asking career-related questions at their young ages. Speaking with professionals about their careers helps her to answer those questions.
"It's difficult with my students in sixth, seventh and eighth grades and getting them to see that real experience and what is expected of them in the workplace," Crump said. "This has been an eye-opener for me to just hear from the community in what they are wanting.“
Crump said she did not attend last year's Teachers Academy but made it a point to this year. Knowing what businesses are looking for in job candidates can translate to how she teaches her students. She said activities like the Teachers Academy will lead to collaboration between schools and businesses.
Carmen Inman, president of the Chamber of Commerce, said the six teachers were from Franklin County High School, Elkhorn Middle School, Bondurant Middle School and William Cofield High School. Inman said Frankfort Independent Schools will have a separate workshop this fall because that district is in a different spot in training.
During their visits, teachers heard from business owners and employees about their daily work and how someone can begin their careers at those businesses. Inman said events like this create a relationship between schools and businesses.
The Frankfort IMPACT Program was launched by the Chamber of Commerce last year.
“It’s kind of exploded since then,” Inman said.
The program began working with local schools and has since added partnerships with Kentucky State University and others. IMPACT focuses on getting students ready for the local workforce.
Local students will be able to attend this fall’s Frankfort IMPACT Experience Expo, which will bring in businesses to give hands-on demonstrations.
Frankfort Plant Board spokeswoman Cathy Lindsey, who is also on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, said it is important to have events like Teachers Academy to ultimately encourage young people to stay in Frankfort. At the Plant Board's administration building, teachers heard from representatives of each department and asked questions about what what the utility looks for in a candidate and what things the employees would tell students.
Lindsey said that the Plant Board is trying to be more involved with area education programs to continue building the local workforce.
"We would love for more teachers to do this," Lindsey said.