CEO, which stands for Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, is a high school class that allows students to get a real life business feel, while working outside of the class room. Central MN CEO is a class that combines students from Staples and Wadena School Districts, and has them meet in a local business, while also having the opportunity to travel around, and tour other businesses in the area, with the overall requirement of starting their own business by the end of the class. Now with CEO already being a fairly unique course, the one thing that makes it stand out even more in the community is it is entirely funded by local businesses, as well. This community support comes mainly from wanting students to develop the skills need to start businesses in the local area, while also learning and developing skills they will need later in life.
For the first quarter of the school year, Stern Rubber has had the opportunity to host the class, and allow them to use our board room for meeting and collaborating about their many other business visits, and own business ideas. Although the students are only in our facility for a short time, Stern Rubber continues its support for the program all year long. Our General Manager, Bob Jackson is the Board Chair of the Central MN CEO Advisory Board, as well as our company has been an investor, and advocator of the CEO program since its beginnings in the area in 2014. Along with hosting, and donating to the program, the students also get the opportunity to tour our plant as they did last week, and see how we take our work from raw materials to the final product. Students are often surprised by the several different processes we use here at Stern, as well as that we make our own rubber compounds, which is something our team takes great pride in. The one unique aspect of manufacturing that is different from other businesses the students experience is having the opportunity to see several departments. From our team that works out on the floor producing our many products, to our quality team, HR department, sales division, and management, the students get to experience all aspects of a company that someday could be them.
As the CEO program continues to grow in the Staples area, Stern Rubber is proud to continue their support and have the opportunity to help grow the students from the local area, in the business world. Stern’s hosting of the CEO class will end for this year, at the beginning of November, as the students head over to McKechnie Vehicle Components in Staples, to use as their “home base” for the 2nd quarter of the school year, and then they will meet in Wadena businesses for the second half of the year.
For more information on the CEO program, check out our blog from last fall on the beginnings of the program and how it came to the Staples area.