King County, WA – Hundreds of students from South Seattle and King County will explore career opportunities with some of the region’s largest private-sector companies and organizations during the Road Map Project’s annual DiscoverU week. Through a new partnership with Challenge Seattle, this year’s DiscoverU initiative will feature worksite tours, CEO visits to schools, and classroom presentations from private-sector leaders in a robust effort to help students learn about the exciting career opportunities available to them in the greater Seattle region.
“Our region is full of opportunities to do exciting and inspiring work – from curing cancer to building airplanes to transforming the world through technology,” said Chris Gregoire, CEO of Challenge Seattle. “We want students to be excited about what the future holds for the them and give them the opportunity to compete for the jobs of the future by pursuing their education and training.”
During the week of October 17 to 21, students will have the opportunity to attend interactive field trips at 14 Challenge Seattle member companies, including Alaska Airlines, Amazon, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Boeing, Expedia, JP Morgan Chase, Madrona Venture Group, Microsoft, Nordstrom, PATH, Puget Sound Energy, REI, Starbucks, and Zillow. Teams of employees from these companies will also visit classrooms, after-school programs, and other community sites to talk about career paths and to engage students in exploring their futures.
“We are grateful for our business partners who are investing their time in our students and helping them prepare for the workplace they will enter after graduating,” said Susan Enfield, Superintendent of Highline Public Schools.
CEOs and executive leadership from Challenge Seattle companies will visit local middle and high schools to share their personal stories and build excitement around our region’s career opportunities.
Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, and Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, will be returning to their alma mater to talk with students at Highline High School. Additionally, Phyllis Campbell, Chairman, Pacific Northwest for JP Morgan Chase, and Dara Khosrowshahi, CEO of Expedia, and Lucy Helm, General Counsel of Starbucks Coffee Company will be visiting schools during the week.
“I am happy to join with so many leaders from our state’s top companies to let students in Washington know that the future is full of great jobs for them right here in their own backyard,” said Ray Conner, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “Boeing will be a significant jobs provider in Washington for decades to come. We hope they will take the steps now to be part of a bright future whether with Boeing or any other great Washington employer.”
Started by the Road Map Project in 2013, DiscoverU week encourages students of all ages to explore their futures through in- and out-of-classroom activities. Beliefs about work and career are formed at an early age—through observation and interaction. Structured career awareness activities are essential to building an understanding of working world and helping kids make academic choices that give them good career options. By giving students new experiences and access to information about careers, DiscoverU provides opportunities to help students develop their interests and see the connection to their academic pursuits.
The DiscoverU campaign provides resources to educators, students, families and businesses in the region who want to develop a culture of pursuing postsecondary education among all students in the region. Schools, community organizations, families, and individuals are all invited to participate with lesson plans, materials, resources and other information tool kits provided on the DiscoverU week webite – discoverwa.org.
DiscoverU partnership’s with Challenge Seattle connects Seattle-area employers formally to the effort for the first time and aligns with Challenge Seattle’s and Road Map Project’s goal of raising the rate of postsecondary attainment for students across the region. Currently, Washington ranks 47th in the nation in the likelihood that a 19-year-old will be enrolled in postsecondary education.
For more updates on DiscoverU’s, visit discoverwa.org and sign up for the newsletter and follow DiscoverU on Facebook and Twitter. You can also follow the hashtag #DiscoverUWA to see the variety of ways people are getting involved!
About CCER & Road Map Project
The Community Center for Education Results is a Seattle-based nonprofit organization dedicated to dramatically improving education results in South Seattle and South King County. It was founded in 2010 and provides support to the Road Map Project, a community-wide effort with a vision to drive student achievement from cradle to career. For more information, visit www.roadmapproject.org.
About Challenge Seattle
Challenge Seattle is a private sector initiative led by many of the region’s CEOs working to sustain our economy, build on our region’s strengths, address our challenges, and promote the unique values that make Seattle incredible. The group was formed to ensure that our region thrives as one of the most innovative, vibrant and globally competitive regions in the world. One of Challenge Seattle’s primary goals is to provide children in our region the opportunity through education to compete for the jobs of the future right here in Washington State.