A large crowd of business leaders from Clermont County met for dinner at the Early Childhood Education Center at Clermont Northeastern Tuesday, Oct. 27. The CNE Local Schools hosted the third annual Business Partners Dinner to honor those businesses and organization who partner with them throughout the year and invite others to share in the support.
“The board has done a tremendous job of helping to find ways to work with local businesses,” said Superintendent Neil Leist. “Staff and teachers at CNE are going in the right direction. Eighty percent of what we have done creating partnerships has been through the help of Clermont Chamber of Commerce and we appreciate their assistance.”
Leist estimated that more than 140 were in attendance at the dinner. Heather Powell, principal of the middle school, acted as emcee for the event.
"We have stayed in contact with TATA and it was clear that they have wanted to partner with us," said Leist. "They are a huge worldwide company and they reinvest 66 percent of their profits to the local community. Getting their team to design our web site was great for our schools."
The award winner was selected by a committee made up of staff members from each school building who look at businesses that have made an impact on the school district during the past year.
Steve Wharton, executive director of Economic Development Corporation of Clermont County shared some insight into education and businesses working together.
"The economic development corporation of Clermont County has a desire to build partnerships within the community," said Wharton. "Technology is changing the way manufacturing is done, this is tied to the educational workforce - when all the townships, businesses and schools work together, it strengthens the community. We hope everyone will increase their commitment to the schools."
The tie between area businesses and CNE students was reinforced by CNE High School principal Matt Earley.
"Internships are very important because it is a win-win situation for businesses and schools," he said. "They create an opportunity for students to network and find out if a career is right for them. They also create opportunities for businesses to rehire interns when they graduate - they have already established a working relationship and can benefit one another. I ask business owners to consider hiring high school students through our program."
Leist shared how the school has been working with area businesses to help students gain first-hand work experience. He also explained how businesses can receive a tax break by donating unwanted items to the schools. He noted that another benefit was the free publicity received when their partner's stories appear in the newspaper.
"We have an optimistic five year plan created by treasurer Brian Switzer and myself," said Leist. "I feel that we are on the right path and need to continue going down this path. Businesses will want to locate in Clermont County when they see what we are doing with partnerships. I feel we are three to four years ahead of other districts in the state of Ohio with our partnerships with business and the educational system."
Leist invited those in attendance to find a way to partner with the schools and had a top 10 list of opportunities. For more information about how your business or organization can work with the educational system, contact Neil Leist at (513) 625-5478.