The Parenting Biz – From Child’s Play To Real Life CEOs, Area Organizations Hold The Key To Success
Feature Story By Rebecca Wright, Julianna Bonnett And Jim Murphy
Since October celebrates “Small Business Month” and pays tribute to entrepreneurs starting up their own companies, it’s also a perfect time to highlight local businesses and organizations who are preparing children and youth to become successful business owners and employees.
From starting up the traditional lemonade stand (the perfect small business metaphor) to make extra cash for toys, hobbies, or even raise funds for a charity — like the W.E. Care for Kids Lemonade Brigade — small things add up to make a huge impact when it comes to today’s children and youth.
Running a lemonade stand represents hard work ethics, customer relations, independence and fosters a sense of pride.
These are just some of the important qualities of a business professional that can set your child on a path to potentially becoming a CEO!
At the end of the day, it’s all about guiding our youth in the right direction, while they’re still young.
To assist with this preparation, there are several businesses, organizations available, and events scheduled in October and November, to help your kids get a leg up in the business world.
While you’ll find several organizations and businesses listed here that are training today’s youth to enter the work force, there are countless other local businesses teaching children and youth the ABCs of business.
For example Code Ninjas (1950 Lauzon Road, Unit 130, Windsor), and tutoring companies such as Oxford Learning in LaSalle and Tecumseh and The Literacy Loft (2052 Ottawa Street, Windsor) — all helping kids get those grades needed to become a successful business mogul in the future!
Read on for more details on some local supports that are sure to help facilitate the business-related aspirations and ambitions of today’s youth.
Junior Achievement South Western Ontario
Located at 60 William Street South in Chatham, the not-for-profit Junior Achievement South Western Ontario (JA SWO) has been educating students, ages eight to 18, about financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship, for the past 50 years.
“As the largest youth business education organization in Canada, we work in partnership with educators, volunteers and businesses relying on thousands of dedicated corporate and individual volunteers to help us achieve our mission,” says Jenne Wason, Regional Director of the Chatham-Kent, Sarnia-Lambton, Windsor-Essex branch. “We are extremely fortunate to have the support of many of Canada’s leading corporations and local organizations, as these corporations not only provide financial support, but also provide us with volunteers through their in-house Junior Achievement volunteer programs.”
Studies have shown that today’s most in-demand jobs didn’t exist 10 years ago. JA prepares students to succeed in tomorrow’s careers, solve tomorrow’s challenges and launch businesses that create tomorrow’s jobs.
JA SWO, in partnership with Junior Achievement London and District, have combined their operations, strengthened their team of 11, and set a goal to reach 15,000 elementary and high school students in the next school year.
“Junior Achievement will build on our established partnerships to grow our programs to reach more students,” states Wason. “We are excited about the opportunities to strengthen our team and expand delivery of Junior Achievement programs to youth in our south western communities.”
JA SWO also offers an after-school “Company Program” where secondary school students create their own businesses from start to finish. Volunteers from the local business community work with students to launch and run a small enterprise, which helps give them real-world skills and the experience they need to achieve their dreams of becoming entrepreneurs.
“We are looking for students for our ‘Company Program’ this year, which starts in October,” Wason notes. “And we are always looking for new volunteers to help us bring our programs to students in the community.”
“Manufacturing Day”: October 4, 2019
This year, “Manufacturing Day” in Windsor Essex takes place on Friday, October 4, 2019.
The event is put on annually by the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation (WE EDC). This year, they are proudly partnering with Workforce WindsorEssex, the local school boards, municipalities and regional employers, to coordinate activities.
Over the years, interest by schools and students has been growing, with almost 700 students participating in 2018, touring manufacturing facilities across Windsor Essex. Organizers are confident this trend will continue into 2019.
“‘Manufacturing Day’ is an outstanding initiative and an opportunity for our region’s manufacturers to demonstrate directly with the students that manufacturing is a career full of innovative and technological opportunities,” asserts Lee McGrath, Director of Business Retention and Expansion of WE EDC. “The event reinforces the message about the importance of this sector to our local economy and helps to change the perception of students and their parents or guardians about having a career in manufacturing.”
Local manufacturing employers have been very responsive to this event and are pleased to once again open their doors to high school/elementary students and educators.
Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing Ltd. (CavalierTool.com) has participated in “Manufacturing Day” for several years.
“We are aware of the growing shortage of skilled trades, and need to be proactive, not only as a company, but as an industry, to bring awareness to the career paths available in this field,” states Cavalier Tool & Manufacturing President Brian Bendig.
Located in Windsor at 3450 Wheelton Drive, Bendig says he is looking forward to the tours and demonstrations they’ll be providing students this year.
“I hope they are amazed at the amount of technology behind the scenes of producing a mould, the process it takes to make one, and how nice, organized and clean a manufacturing shop can be,” says Bendig.McGrath adds “Manufacturing Day” is an outstanding initiative and an opportunity for our region’s manufacturers to demonstrate directly with students that manufacturing is a career full of innovative and technological opportunities.
Bendig agrees wholeheartedly.
“It connects industry directly with education, and influences both the students and educators to push towards a future in skilled trades,” he believes.
Build A Dream: October 11 “Dreamer Day Breakfast” & “Career Discovery Expo” November 7, 2019
Through strong partnerships with industry, education and community leaders since 2014, Build a Dream’s staff of five dedicated workers help create career opportunities for young women in grades nine to 12, using awareness campaigns, hands-on learning camps, workshops, a “Career Discovery Expo” and by profiling professional female “Dream Makers” in order to empower young women to make informed career choices.
“We spotlight exciting career opportunities for young women in five professional pillars, including skilled trades, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), emergency response, entrepreneurship and advancing women in society,” mentions Nour Hachem-Fawaz, Founder and President of the non-profit organization located at 1501 Howard Avenue in Windsor. “Due to the commonalities with barriers to entry for many careers, Build a Dream focuses on multiple vocations and creates programs that are engaging and responsive by utilizing data tracking and feedback.”
In order to prepare young women to become successful entrepreneurs, Build a Dream focuses on giving them the confidence and support to believe in their ideas and follow their dreams.
“Along with encouragement, we need to expose them to different experiences,” Hachem-Fawaz tells Biz X. “We try to empower them to build new skills, and encourage diversity and inclusion in society beyond the workforce.”
On October 11 Build a Dream’s second annual “Dreamer Day Breakfast” takes place at St. Clair College Centre for the Arts, 201 Riverside Drive West in Windsor, from 8 a.m. until 10:30 a.m.
The event occurs on “International Day of the Girl” and honours the contributions of community members who promote workforce diversity and inclusion.
There is also an awards presentation from nominations coming from the community and a panel of female professionals sharing insight on topics like business development and workforce inclusivity, moderated by Helga Reidel, President and CEO of ENWIN Utilities. Admission is $35 per ticket or a table of 10 seats can be purchased for $350.
“Build a Dream has helped thousands of students (and their parents) expand their career choices by exploring pathways underrepresented by women,” says Hachem-Fawaz. “Our annual ‘Career Discovery Expo’ spotlights these careers and equips young women with the power of choice by providing information, resources, networks and role models.”
For 2019, the sixth annual “Career Discovery Expo” in Windsor happens November 7 at the Ciociaro Club, 3745 North Talbot Road, from 5 to 9 p.m. Seating is limited, so parents and high school women need to reserve a spot online as soon as possible.
Throughout the year, Build a Dream offers a self-esteem workshop designed with the help of STEM educator Chuck Stoffle and made possible through funding from Workforce WindsorEssex as well as hands-on learning camps held during March and summer break.
Film Camp For Kids & Youth
The Film Camp for Kids &Youth offers children ages eight to 18 years old, week-long filmmaking programs with classes in photography, visual arts, acting for film, set design, stop motion, animation and more.
“Filmmaking and media arts include almost all creative arts, so we offer a wide variety of classes,” says Amanda Gellman, President and Founder of the camp. “Our overall organizational goal is to grow Windsor talent in media arts and to keep talent local.”
Beginning in 2013 as a pilot project with 23 kids ages nine to 12, the program has grown to see more than 350 graduates pass through their two locations (586 and 691 Ouellette Avenue in downtown Windsor).
Many of their graduates go on to be hired in the film and media industry.
“The camp is ‘phase one’ of a bigger picture for many of our campers who are now enrolling in local post-secondary media arts programs at the college and university,” Gellman notes. “During post-secondary school, we hire students to teach and we have posted more than 70 jobs in the past seven years and hired 40 different post-secondary students before we help them start local film and media arts businesses, post-graduation.”
At Film Camp for Kids & Youth, it’s about more than just filmmaking, asserts Gellman.
“Our camps place children and teens in a high demand, deadline-driven, fun-filled environment,” she explains. “The program encourages teamwork and self-expression that not only opens doors to potential careers in media arts, but teaches a myriad of valuable life skills that will help participants in countless ways throughout their lives.”
Classes are available during the summer, winter and March break along with weekend class during the fall and spring.