Preschool to Post-Graduate
Developing our future workforce is not only a PRIORITY, but it is the key to the future success of both our students and our business community. The Chamber is constantly working on conveying this message to the business community - education and workforce development initiatives do affect business. From preschool to post-graduate, your business can help the Chamber in developing the building blocks for tomorrow's business leaders.
The Chamber serves eight public school districts. Five Chamber Member school districts benefit from the programs funded through the TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. The Chamber's Foundation was formed in 2002. It was designated by the Commonwealth to receive monies from businesses per Act 4 of 2001, which amended the Public School Code to authorize tax credits for businesses that make contributions to scholarship organizations or educational improvement organizations. The TriCounty Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Inc. has been approved by the PA Department of Community and Economic Development to receive funds for educational improvement programming, specifically for K through 12th vocational/career development. It is the Foundation's intent to support projects that benefit all Member school districts. Payments from the Foundation can only be made to public school districts as per the Act.
Mural behind the Pottstown Public Library
painted by Pottstown School District students
Since its inception the Foundation has funded a variety of career-oriented programs including providing an opportunity for each school district to recruit art students and work with a professional mural artist to design, paint, and publicly present a mural to their respective communities. Funded programs include opportunities for students not only in K-12th level classes, but for those in different curriculum paths as well. Teachers from various curriculums including art, photography, and multimedia have benefited from obtaining the funding for purchasing the technology, equipment, and supplies that are crucial for providing the level of instruction that will make their students successful in a competitive, global marketplace. In addition, the Foundation has provided the guidance offices of many of our school districts the ability to purchase programs, software, and materials that will enable them to discover, track and report on the career discovery steps that their students have completed throughout their education. For more information on how your business can contribute to the Foundation call 610.326.2900 or email.
Through the Foundation the Chamber also administers our Leadership Tri-County program. Leadership Tri-County is an educational opportunity for local business leaders to learn about the community and responsibilities of serving on area nonprofit boards. With its first class in 1993, the program has graduated over 100 community members to date.
Career development programs are also available at several institutions of higher education located within a 25 mile radius of Pottstown. Workforce development training programs and continuing education programs are available in addition to degree programs. The West Campus of the Montgomery County Community College, located in Pottstown, continues to expand. The University Center, where students are able to continue their education and may select from seven bachelor's degrees and one master's degree program, is in partnership with Albright College, Gwynedd-Mercy College, and Temple University. In addition, Ursinus College is also located in the tri-county area.
The Hill School, a co-ed prepatory boarding school, is located in Pottstown
In preparation for their future, students in our region have several options available including preparatory schools, faith-based school facilities and several additional private schools. Elementary and preschool educational alternatives are also available to area residents.
Pottstown Early Action for Kindergarten Readiness (PEAK)
PEAK is a partnership between Pottstown School District and community programs/agencies serving young children. With a mission that "Every child in Pottstown will enter kindergarten ready to learn and achieve", PEAK works in five key strategy areas of community outreach, family engagement, quality improvement, health/wellness, and kindergarten transition. PEAK also coordinates the state funded Pre-K Counts program, which is a free full-day program for income eligible residents of Pottstown School District serving three and four year-old children. For more information call 610.970.6655.
Pennsylvania Free Enterprise Week (PFEW)
The Chamber is an enthusiastic sponsor of this award-winning, internationally acclaimed seven-day residential program. Through the Chamber Foundation, an annual donation of ten scholarships is provided. The scholarships are used for students from tri-county area Chamber Member schools to attend this unique experience. Taking place during the summer, PFEW gives high school juniors and seniors an intensive, hands-on journey into the world of business. Students form imaginary "companies", and under the guiding hands of real-life business professionals and using a sophisticated computer model, operate these "corporations" for the equivalent of three years, making all the same decisions those members of real-life management teams do every day. Completely funded, staffed, and taught by business professionals, PFEW gives participants the real story about the issues facing American companies and what it takes to create and maintain a "business-friendly" environment. For more information call 814.833.9576.
Western Montgomery County School to Work Partnership
The Western Montgomery County School to Work Partnership was formed in November 1996, as a result of a federal School-to-Work Initiative. The Western Partnership is a self-sustaining entity that, with the help of dedicated volunteer representatives, the Montgomery County Community College, local chambers including TriCounty, and business professionals from several fields, provides an annual Career Leadership Conference for eighth grade students in the tri-county area. The objective of the conference is to expose the students to local job possibilities and pathways to achieve the careers represented and to motivate them to set goals to accomplish their career choice. For more information call 610.948.7190.
Pottstown Middle School
• Chamber Member Educational Institutions
• Public School Districts
• Intermediate Units
• Colleges and Universities within 25 miles of Pottstown