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"Thompson Tomorrows Today" Program Launches New Model for Workforce Development

Thompson Tomorrows Today

August 29, 2022 - This month, Thompson School District celebrated the launch of "Thompson Tomorrows Today" (T3), a new program that is designed to help foster an entrepreneurial mindset in students in kindergarten through 8th grade. The district, along with the Thompson Education Foundation, received a $50,000 grant from the OtterCares Foundation, which is providing an opportunity for teachers and support staff to collaborate with partners throughout the district to enhance the workforce development pipeline from an early age.

At the program launch on August 4, over eighty educators and twenty businesses partnered together to discuss and explore the skills that students need to be college, career and community ready. The event included a tour of the district's Thompson Career Campus, a visit to an industry partner in manufacturing, health care or construction and time for educators and business leaders to brainstorm new potential partnerships.

"There's a strong correlation between student engagement and our ability as educators to create relevant real-world experiences," said Tracy Stegall, Thompson School District's Executive Director for Teaching and Learning. "We can do this by connecting students to the community in order to map out their interests and aptitudes for possible careers. It helps our children to understand the 'why' about learning, which is so important for them. Our industry partners speak eloquently about the current need in the workplace for foundational skills and here in TSD, we are actively working to address that challenge."

"Many other districts start career exploration with students when they are in middle school," Ms. Stegall continued. "What makes this program different is that we are learning that this work can actually begin in elementary schools. It's good for our students and ultimately, it's good for our community."

Educators and business partners will reconnect throughout the school year to continue the advanced collaboration between the district and business community. For more information on the program, please contact Michael Hausmann, Thompson School District Chief Communications Officer, at 970-613-5011 or via email at michael.hausmann@tsd.org.