Partners in Education lunch slated

Sitting in a CEO Panel earlier this week at Marshall University, the CEO of Intuit Brad Smith talked about the importance of education. As a son of Marshall and West Virginia native, Smith is proud of our state and the education he received here. It led him to run a company that includes Quickbooks, Quicken, and TurboTax. So, of course, he is going to talk about the importance of education — be it a specialized certification, vocational training or the traditional 2 or 4 year degrees. But “education” in the eyes of the Intuit CEO must include one important element — critical thinking skills.

His panel counterpart Dan Schulman, the CEO of Paypal, shared that critical thinking skills are one of the top characteristics he seeks in new employees too. He explained that he presents a scenario to interviewees and asks them to solve it. “Yes, there is a specific right answer, but it would take someone quite a while to get to that result,” Shulman said. “I’m less concerned that they get the right answer.” Instead he wants to see the process they go through to think through the issue, what options do they consider, and how do they manage ambiguity and uncertainty.

These are key concepts we as the business community must encourage our education system to instill at all ages — from kindergarten to higher education. And one of the best opportunities to do so is through our Partner in Education program.

Not a day goes by in the Chamber world that there isn’t some kind of connection or discussion about the relationship between the business community and our education system. And no activity is more visible than the Partner in Education program when it comes to the partnership between education, business and the Chamber.

A strong education system enables business to recruit and keep key employees. A strong education system produces great talent that eventually become valuable employees. A strong education system says that the community values lifelong learning.

Did you know that in Wood County the Partner in Education program was a Chamber initiative? Did you know that our Partner in Education program was one of the first to be launched in West Virginia, back in 1985? Did you know that Wood County was the first county in the State to have partners for 100% of its schools?

Each of the 27 public schools, the 1 technical center, one 1 adult education center and the 4 private schools in Wood County have at least ONE business partner. Some schools have several business partners. And each year since 1986 we have held an annual luncheon to celebrate the power of the partnerships.

On Thursday, March 19 the MOV Chamber will host the 35th Annual Partner in Education luncheon from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. at WVU-Parkersburg.

The listing below is the current roster of school/business partnerships for Wood County. Is your business listed? Are you active as a partner? Every partnership is unique — some businesses are able to help out on a financial level and others are able to help out with people and resources for activities. The luncheon would be a great event to reinvigorate that relationship! Like strategic plans and budgets, you must constantly “pull the relationship off the shelf” and evaluate the ways to get involved and make sure it is meeting both parties’ expectations. If you are an employee at one of these companies below, are you aware of the partner activities with your school?

If not, what a great opportunity to get involved and bring the partnership back to life! A partnership without action is a partnership in name only (and sadly that doesn’t serve either party fairly.)

The Partner in Education liaison for each business partner will receive the luncheon reservation form via email this week. We will also load the reservation link on our website at www.movchamber.org Each school’s Business Partner is asked to help offset the cost of the luncheon so that 2 students, 2 school representatives and 2 business representatives attend on behalf of each partnership.

The cost is $175 for the 6 attendees. Additional attendees are $25/person. The deadline to make your reservation is Wednesday, March 11.

And if your business/organization would like to learn more about becoming a formal Partner in Education with one of the schools in Wood County listed below, please contact us at the MOV Chamber office to start that discussion.

Elementary Schools

Blennerhassett Elementary

Peoples Bank — Division Street

Wal-Mart South Parkersburg


Criss Elementary

Astorg Motors

Huntington Bank

Lowe’s of Wood County


Emerson Elementary

Huntington Bank



Fairplains Elementary

Parkersburg-Marietta Building and Construction Trades

Peoples Cartage


Franklin Elementary

Highmark WV


Gihon Elementary


Office Depot

One Community Credit Union


Greenmont Elementary

United Bank


Jefferson Elementary

Camden Clark Medical Center

Wharton Auto Group


Kanawha Elementary

Manager’s Resource Group

Tri-State Roofing and Sheet Metal


Lubeck Elementary

Williamstown Bank

Northwest Pipe Company


Madison Elementary


Mountain River Physical Therapy

Waste Management


Martin Elementary

Bosley Rental and Supply, Inc.


Peoples Bank — Patriot Center


McKinley Elementary

Bureau of Public Debt

Community Bank of Parkersburg


Mineral Wells Elementary

First Settlement Physical Therapy

Somerville Industries


Neale Elementary

Grand Central Mall

Peoples bank — Vienna



North Christian School

Amanda Buckley Imaging


Murray Sheet Metal

Scot’s Landscape Nursery



Parkersburg Catholic Elementary

Ohio Valley Health Care

Smith Orthodontics


Vienna Elementary

Burger King

First Neighborhood Bank

Sam’s Club


Waverly Elementary

Davis Pickering & Associates

Murray Sheet Metal


Williamstown Elementary

Williamstown Bank


Worthington Elementary

Woodcraft Supply

Worthington Nursing & Rehabilitation Center

Secondary Schools

Blennerhassett Middle

Home Depot



Edison Middle

Frontier Communications

West Virginia Central Credit Union


Hamilton Middle

Pickering Associates

WEE Federal Credit Union


Jackson Middle

Highmark WV

Mister Bee Potato Chip Company


Parkersburg Catholic High

Camden Clark Medical Center

Mountain River Physical Therapy

Wood County Rotary Club


Parkersburg High

The Blennerhassett Hotel

DuPont Washington Works

Kona Ice of the MOV


Parkersburg South High


Hino Motors

Pepsi Cola


VanDevender Middle

Mountain State College

WesBanco Bank


Williamstown High

Da Vinci’s Restaurant

Fenton Foundation

Wells Fargo Advisors


Wood County Christian

Emerson Avenue Burger King


Wood County Technical Center/Caperton Center

CAS Cable

D&R Heating & Cooling


Adult Basic Education

American National University

Rotary Club of Parkersburg


Visit this space every other Sunday for more Chamber news. We also invite you to call us at 304-422-3588, email us at info@movchamber.org, or stop by the Chamber office at 501 Avery Street, 9th Floor in Parkersburg.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)