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Business & Education Partnership

Mike Stork Challenges You to Step Up for Local Students

September 3, 2020

Local investor Mike Stork will match the first $15,000 raised from our business community to help young people in Waterloo Region build confidence and direction for their future careers

In the early 2000s, leaders from our local business and education community shared an idea:

Waterloo Region has one of the most highly skilled workforces in the world. Why not use that resource to help our kids better understand and prepare for the changing world of work?

Those leaders created the Business & Education Partnership of Waterloo Region, an award-winning charity that prepares young people for the future of work by creating career exploration, skill development and networking opportunities with local employers and industry professionals.

Local entrepreneur Mike Stork was an early supporter of the BEP. He served as the Chair of the Board and has quietly donated funds for a number of years. But this year is different. With the upheaval in public education and society at large due to the covid-19 pandemic, Stork is challenging local businesses who have the capacity to step up. In his words:

The people who benefit from the ecosystem need to keep the momentum going. It helps to sustain the wonderful things we have here in the Waterloo Region.

To encourage the support from leaders in our business community, Stork is matching the first $15,000 pledged this September and October. Funds will be used to organize virtual programming, and to develop new software that makes it easier for employers to engage in career development with local students. Like everything the BEP does, this is a solution made by Waterloo Region, for Waterloo Region.

For those companies who currently have capacity, supporting the Business & Education Partnership is a great way to invest in your future workforce, raise awareness of careers in your industry, and demonstrate yourself as an employer of choice. New supporters, such as Clarion Medical, have already pledged funds, joining a partnership that includes longstanding corporate sponsors like Teledyne DALSA. In the words of Sandi Young, Vice President of Human Resources:

I am a huge supporter of the BEP as I see this as a partnership that brings value through various paths; for the company to represent in the community, developing the pipeline of talent in the workforce; connecting with our teachers and supporting them; for the organizations to gain input from students, and for each company representative to build significant relationships.

Contributors can receive a charitable receipt, or recognition as a BEP sponsor.

Now more than ever, young people need hope and direction for their future. For more information about how you can make a difference as a financial supporter or volunteer, contact Scott Verhoeve, Executive Director, at 226-642-0880 x. 2 or [email protected].

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