Before Christmas I received a call from a local business person and entrepreneur who was looking to bounce ideas around about an upcoming marketing and promotional event. His ideas are almost always outside the box, and his latest did not disappoint. His plan was to engage a local high school in a community-wide food drive event that would raise awareness not only for the humanitarian cause itself, but also for his business.

The company runs a fleet of electric delivery vehicles, which would be loaned for use in the food drive. Because the vehicles are electric, they could be driven in to the school gymnasium to receive a paint job from the students, an activity that would also serve to build up excitement for the event.

The high school staff, in addition to their wanting to support a humanitarian effort, liked the idea because it would put a real world, local entrepreneur in front of their students, giving them an opportunity to interact with, ask questions of, witness his passion and better understand the challenges faced by risk takers.

Our Executive Director, Denny Warner has had recent discussions with Parkland Secondary School Vice Principal Aaron Buckham and Assistant Superintendent Scott Stinson about how to begin creating connections and partnerships between regional K-12 educators and employers. They are enthusiastic about students having more abundant and varied work experience opportunities to gain a fuller understanding of potential post-secondary career options. Chamber members have expressed keen interest in seeing students gain more practical skills they can use in an actual work place.

School District 63 has just begun a visioning exercise: Project 2020, Focus on the Future so the timing is ideal for the leaders in our business community to provide their input, promote their trade, profession, business and inspire the workforce of the next generation. Please contact Denny Warner at the Chamber Office by phone at 250-656-3616 or by email at if you are interested in participating in the discussion.

Craig E. Norris,

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