The City of Riverside Office of Economic Development has made helping to grow entrepreneurs in the community an organizational priority. One of the ways in which they are pursuing this goal is through outreach to Riverside high school students, a key group of future business owners and innovators.
Rebecca Unitt, a Riverside high school graduate and now a project assistant with the Office of Economic Development, helped to create the program while she was working as an intern for the City.
“All local business owners are encouraged to provide outreach, mentoring and internship opportunities to local students,” explained Unitt. “To help fuel this process, the Office of Economic Development is going directly to the classrooms to talk about resources that may be available to students if they want to start a business someday, while inspiring them to think big about how they can craft their own future career.”
In late March, the City team met with nearly 250 students in the Freshman Focus class at Norte Vista High School. The class is required for all freshman and is intended to get students thinking about their future. They choose three possible careers they might be interested in pursuing and throughout the year learn how to make the most of their remaining time in high school helping to make those career goals a reality.
The Office of Economic Development presentation focused on the importance of small businesses and shopping locally in Riverside, what role the City plays in economic development, the top five traits one should demonstrate to an employer in an interview, as well as the incredible opportunities available to anyone who is willing to work hard and pursue their goals.
The team is scheduled to meet next with the North High School Global Business Academy and La Sierra High School International Business Academy. The goal is to continue these business and career focused classes at all of the local high schools throughout the rest of this school year.