Upper Arlington chamber, schools collaboration benefits students
Collaborations and shared services have fast become the buzzwords of local governments and other public entities of late, as if it only just occurred to us that there might be cost savings and other benefits to be had from joining forces.
But when you start to peel back the layers of the onion that make up Upper Arlington, it's pretty evident that we've been on the partnership bandwagon for years, even decades.
I recently learned of a wonderful collaboration between the Upper Arlington Area Chamber of Commerce and Upper Arlington schools that has been bringing an entrepreneurial spirit into the classroom.
High school teacher Stephen Lewis' entrepreneurship and management class explores the world of business from the perspective of the visionaries and risk-takers who have transformed an idea into a new and successful business model.
Through this partnership, students are visited by Chamber members who have successfully launched -- or otherwise contributed to -- a variety of new business ventures in the community.
Throughout the course, these students work to develop their own business concept that will fulfill an unmet need or want in the community. They then develop a business plan that is ultimately presented to a panel of "investors" who determine if their concept warrants further investment.
As they take their idea from its initial germination to a final business plan and pitch, the visits from business people provide the inspiration, a deeper understanding and real-world insight of important business concepts that can help them succeed in their task.
Talk about paying it forward. The entrepreneurs, CEOs and marketing experts who are giving up time from their busy schedules to bring insight into the classroom setting are no doubt inspiring the next generation of business leaders with their stories.
Let's hope that when the time is ripe, these entrepreneurs-in-the-making decide to launch their own business ventures right here in UA, and that they, in turn, step up to encourage and support the generation that follows them.
Hats off to the Chamber and its members for bringing such an invaluable resource into the classroom and hats off to UA schools for inviting them.
The benefits of volunteering and community service are endless. You get to meet new people. You feel part of a team that makes a difference in an area that is meaningful to you. It's a great resume-builder and can open doors you didn't even know existed. On top of all that, it can be a lot of fun.
Keeping your volunteering local can oftentimes bring the greatest reward because you get to see and possibly even enjoy firsthand the impacts of your efforts. This is especially the case with some of the city's boards and commissions because your work can help direct city policy and provide tangible enhancements to your hometown of choice.
As the year draws to a close, seats on many of our boards and commissions will become available. This includes the Library Board, Cultural Arts Commission, Board of Health and Board of Zoning and Planning. As a result, city council has put out the call inviting residents to consider applying to serve on one of these entities.
If you have been pondering your next step in giving back to your community, I encourage you to take a look at our boards and commissions, and to submit an application form for one that interests you the most. Visit uaoh.net for more details.
On Sunday, Oct. 20, the Columbus Marathon will take to the streets of central Ohio, Upper Arlington included. This year's route takes runners through the university district, as they head west on Guilford Road, and then south on Coventry, before heading back into Columbus along King Avenue.
For a run of this magnitude, traffic will clearly be impacted, so please visit uaoh.net and look for the Columbus Marathon link under "Headlines" on our homepage for more details.
Theodore J.Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.