Building Bridges to Careers (BB2C) was founded in Washington County, Ohio in 2012 by a dedicated group of education, community, and business leaders with the goal of creating a K-12 college and career readiness continuum. After assessing the level at which the community was working together to impact career readiness, the participating volunteers collaboratively built programs, events, and networks to address the gaps that were found. Job shadowing support, started by the Teen Career Awareness Initiative in 2008, provided a spring board for the expansion of programming, and today we have several different signature programs that bring our mission statement to life.
BB2C’s goal is to bridge the gap between education and employment for all students. We do this by building community networks that provide students with experiences in a variety of career fields and helping them attain their life goals. Working to coordinate, not duplicate, career development efforts in the county and the surrounding area, BB2C has developed multiple programs that connect students, parents, and teachers to local businesses and employers. Over the last seven years, 4500+ students have been directly impacted because of the implementation of our projects and because of the community partnerships we specialize in creating. The projects of BB2C address the various facets of the community in order to engage them in youth, community, and economic development.
The BB2C Epicenter was created in 2017 and is specifically developed to provide a location that brings the vision of BB2C to life by providing the area’s first small business incubator and makerspace. It provides a space for the creative economy to expand and thrive and provides access to innovative entrepreneurial opportunities. Moving into year three, the BB2C Epicenter has blossomed into a location that supports the entire organization. BB2C incorporated in 2017 in order to provide the organizational structure needed to manage the location that houses the Epicenter. Since that time, BB2C has developed into a fully functioning organization with programs that are designed to engage community stakeholders in addressing the widespread gap between education and employment and supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem developing in our area. Students of all ages and situations, community members, retirees, and businesses are collaborating in this space in a way that has helped define our vision statement of Successful Students, Prosperous Communities. Since 2018, BB2C has supported the creation and furthering of education/business/community collaborative projects in neighboring counties and rural regions in Colorado.
BB2C is an incorporated not-for-profit organization with the state of Ohio, and has applied for 501c(3) status. In the interim, the Marietta Community Foundation serves as our fiscal agent for non-profit status.
A group of nine local businesses have been with us since the beginning, helping to define the initiative and our plan of action.