April 25, 2017
Contact: Mary Enger, Communications Director, 636-949-1856, or 636-443-1008, firstname.lastname@example.org
St. Charles County, Missouri – St. Charles County educators and business leaders want to make certain high school students know what their futures hold. They want to educate them, as they prepare to attend college or begin work in the “real world,” about opportunities and the expectations of their potential career choices.
To that end, 25 local leaders met recently with St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann to discuss a new, national program that places high school students in contact with local businesses through a profession-based learning approach. The program is called CAPS, or Center for Advanced Professional Studies.
CAPS allows students to gain knowledge by working with businesses, assisting with meaningful projects and learning from mentors in the field. They receive college credit and are exposed to hands-on experience in their field of interest.
Locally, “Ignite,” a form of CAPS, is in place in the Wentzville School District, but the five public school districts in St. Charles County are considering a County-wide CAPS consortium. On May 9, the school boards of Fort Zumwalt, Francis Howell, Orchard Farm, St. Charles City and Wentzville will meet to discuss the future of CAPS in the community.
“There clearly is a high level of expectation around the CAPS program coming to St. Charles County, and that’s good news,” says County Executive Ehlmann. “We all support innovation in preparing students for lifelong learning and competitive opportunities in the global economy.”
During the recent presentation to the County Executive, local leaders described the inspirational collaboration between schools and business they witnessed during tours of similar programs in St. Louis County and Kansas City.
“Leaders told me that, through CAPS, there are exciting opportunities for local employers to partner with our students, high schools, colleges and universities to get more involved in training and recruiting the workforce of tomorrow,” Ehlmann says. “A program like CAPS will help our students better understand career demands and opportunities awaiting them.”
Two of the main areas of business being considered for the local CAPS program are health care and entrepreneurship. Officials stressed other opportunities would added as the program grows.
County Executive Ehlmann recognized Susan Sams, local entrepreneur and owner of Sams Carpet Cleaning and Repairs; Greg Prestemon, President and CEO of the EDC Business & Community Partners, and Randy Schilling, chair of the Partners Education Committee for their efforts to help call attention to CAPS and promote a county-wide approach.
For more information about the local economy, workforce, and business growth assistance, contact the St. Charles County Department of Workforce & Business Development at 636-255-6060 or visit www.sccmo.org/163/Workforce-Business-Development.