Blog post by Whitney Harmel
Whitney Harmel is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Maryland Chamber of Commerce. Through her career history and past role as chair of the Emerging Leaders United Council, she has over a decade of sales, leadership, and relationship-building experience.
Heading in to the new year, the Maryland Chamber Foundation is excited to build on the successes of 2019 and continue to serve Maryland’s communities through innovative programs. One of the ways we do this is through our teacher externships. This program allows teachers to build relationships with businesses, learn the soft-skills required of today’s workforce, and bring this knowledge back to the classroom. The circle of influence from this type of program ripples into the community from the teacher sharing their experience with the students in the classroom, fellow teachers and the school’s administration, the parents of the students, the school board, etc.
Our 2019 teacher externship program grew into something larger than what we had intended. The teachers and the businesses truly formed a relationship outside of the program we facilitated, sharing opportunities of upcoming internships for the teachers to share with students, donating to classrooms, and offering the opportunities for fieldtrips. The Maryland Chamber Foundation was impressed at the generosity and passion of our partner organizations and the enthusiasm of our 2019 teacher externs. We have received 125 applications for our summer 2020 teacher externship program, and we are excited about these new possibilities across our state, forging stronger bonds between Maryland’s businesses and our community.
Across the country, states need a workforce that understands the ever-changing need of businesses and Maryland is no exception. The Maryland Chamber Foundation is proud of the influence of the teacher externship program, directly connecting Maryland’s educators and businesses. This insight gives Maryland teachers a more complete view of real-life skills needed for the workforce, resulting in making Maryland’s future workforce better prepared, more skilled, and equipped for continued learning. In the same breath, Maryland’s businesses are eager for opportunities to invest and serve their communities.
2019 was the year our teacher externship program launched, and we saw the program grow and evolve, surpassing our expectations. We are ready to kick off our summer 2020 teacher externship program, having received 125 teacher externship applications. We need businesses from Montgomery County to Caroline County to Charles County. The teachers are poised and ready for this opportunity to partner with Maryland’s businesses. This new year brings opportunity for our educators and businesses to invest in Maryland’s workforce.
We are facilitating a remote meeting on January 29, 2020 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. to walk through the details of our teacher externship program. Click the button below for more information and to join us in giving back to our community.