Charros help fuel inception of Business United for Scottsdale Schools

The Scottsdale Unified School District is looking at new and innovative ways to make all graduates ready for 21st workforce. (File photo)

The Scottsdale Unified School District is looking at new and innovative ways to make all graduates ready for 21st workforce. (File photo)

Community partners are joining forces to create an environment promoting workforce development, educational excellence and retention of the best and brightest educators to the Scottsdale Unified School District.

The Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce and Scottsdale Schools are launching a Business United for Scottsdale Schools initiative, which will be a pre-K through post-secondary workforce development strategy attracting and developing the best students, teachers and workforce talent to the district.

David Peterson

David Peterson

“The BUSS vision is a community that embraces public education as a means to economic prosperity and quality of life for all,” said Scottsdale Schools Superintendent Dr. David Peterson. “Its mission is to achieve this through a comprehensive pre-K through post-secondary P20 workforce development strategy that attracts, develops and retains the best students, teachers and workforce talent aligned with our community’s immediate and longer-term needs.”

The Scottsdale Charros support the endeavor and provided $15,000 in grant dollars this fiscal year to help launch the program. SUSD governing board member Kim Hartmann says the Charros’ role will be to help bridge the gap between community leader and educational entity.

“The Charro Foundation brings in community leaders who understand the mission of the organization and can help further the efforts of the organization with a particular skill set or expertise,” she said.

Ms. Hartmann was recently appointed to The Charro Foundation board, the philanthropic arm of the Scottsdale Charros.

Kim Hartmann

Kim Hartmann

“The Charros have long been supporters of education in our community, and their financial support of this initiative is in some ways simply an extension of that strong legacy,” Ms. Hartmann said. “The Charros have always been interested in being more than grant makers: They value a hands-on approach to helping build a stronger community. It is for that reason that they will also be represented on the BUSS board of directors through their education chair.”

For 54 years the Scottsdale Charros have been in constant pursuit of improving the lives of Scottsdale residents while preserving the community’s ties to its western heritage.

Superintendent Peterson says the BUSS initiative will provide a new avenue between public school system and workforce development.

“The BUSS Foundation is part of the Scottsdale Chamber Foundation. The chamber recognizes the importance of a strong public school system and the benefits one provides the economy and its members,” he said. “BUSS provides an opportunity for the district to work with local business, both big and small, to align its curriculum and program offerings with what the workforce needs and the economy demands. BUSS members help promote public education as a pipeline and magnet for economic prosperity. This initiative builds community collaboration and partnerships that benefit student achievement.”

While the program is picking up steam, the initiative is looking for more community partners, Superintendent Peterson points out.

“We are working closely with the Scottsdale Economic Development Department and the Chamber to identify businesses that can provide resources, mentorship and other opportunities for our students to be college and career ready,” he explained of focus areas including bio-science, the financial sector and new technologies.

Ms. Hartmann says the BUSS initiative aligns with the goals of the Scottsdale Charros.

“The Charros are not only strong supporters of education, but of course are equally interested in business and economic development,” she said.

“I’m told the Charros exist ‘to serve the future of Scottsdale’ and helping create a strong partnership between education and business will go a long way toward that goal. The BUSS vision is to help create a community that embraces public education as a means to economic prosperity for all. Our mission is to achieve this through a P-20 (preK through post-secondary) work force strategy that attracts, develops and retains the very best students, teachers, and ultimately, workforce talent.”

To learn more about the Scottsdale Schools BUSS initiative contact BUSS Executive Director Julie Brassell at jbrassell@scottsdalechamber.com.

Northeast Valley Managing Editor Terrance Thornton can be contacted at tthornton@newszap.com

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