Ray Costa, of Northwestern Mutual, started working with Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) through the Problem Scenario Project during the summer of 2016. Since then, he has become a BB2C board member and participated in Family Career Awareness Day. Including local business perspectives in our decision making is vital to our work as an organization. For this reason, we strive to have a balanced mix of business, education, and governmental organizations on our governing board.
In his own words...
I was drawn to Building Bridges to Career’s goal of bridging the gap between education and employment because of my personal background in both education and business. I believe that this mission is fundamental to building a strong and sustainable community, and the work the organization has already done in the community has demonstrated its ability to consistently and successfully meet this mission.
I have directly participated in a number of the programs including Family Career Awareness Day and the Real World Problem Scenarios Project. As a business owner these programs have allowed me to connect with local families and students, share the opportunities that are available for employment now and in the future, as well as the services that we provide. It has also allowed me to work hand-in-hand with students and teachers to work through scenarios and challenges that I face on a daily basis.
As an employer I think this is extremely valuable. Our business’ long-term success will be enhanced by a prosperous local economy. This requires us to develop and retain local talent in order to build strong businesses, provide a reliable and skilled workforce, and in the end see the economic growth that will encourage future growth and prosperity for the Mid-Ohio Valley.
Another key component to BB2C’s success is in building relationships with a wide variety of industries so that students and families have the opportunity to pursue experiences that best fit each individual. BB2C’s programs allow students to not only learn about industries and careers but to experience them, and interact with professionals who have built careers in these areas. As business owners and members of the community, programs like these not only encourage young people to have positive experiences, but also to help develop the professional skills that current employers value highly.