Best Practices
August 5, 2009

Green Bay's Ever-Expanding Partners in Education Initiative

Partners in Education

Established in 1992 and coordinated by the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, Partners in Education (PIE) provides a link between businesses, educators, and community organizations with an objective to assist all students in developing the skills necessary for successful transition from school to a career. The Partners in Education Executive Board (consisting of school district superintendents, postsecondary presidents and chancellors, business leaders, parents, and students) guide the partnership, with leadership alternating annually between business and education representatives. The initiative has been provided for 10 school districts and includes dozens of targeted programs promoting education, including school-based learning, work-based learning, career exploration, and community support, all aimed at improving workforce development.

Over the past 17 years, Green Bay's PIE program has been able to tout a number of regional accomplishments in school attendance, high school graduation, and postsecondary degree attainment. For example, most area schools celebrate 95-100% annual graduation rate, while the region's largest district currently boasts an 80-85% graduation rate, both ranges well above the national average. The region has also seen gains in academic achievement by minority groups. For these efforts, Green Bay was named by the America's Promise Alliance as one of the top communities in the nation for young people.

"We view our region's entire education system as one big learning laboratory, giving educators, businesspeople, parents, faith leaders, government officials, health care providers, and neighbors the opportunity to help our young people," says Nancy Schopf, vice president of education, Green Bay Chamber of Commerce. "Through this network, we have developed a system of programs following the national school-to-work leadership model with emphasis on addressing the 21st Century Skills Framework and fulfilling The Alliance's Five Promises to help every young person in the Greater Green Bay Area succeed."