COLLIER COUNTY, Fla - A new initiative in Collier County is reaching out to middle and high school students. The hope is to show them there are many career opportunities in their hometown.
The Naples Chamber of Commerce is teaming up with the Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida. Together they feel their partnership will strengthen the business climate in Collier County, but the first step is getting that message to the kids who live here.
"There are choices here in Collier County. You don't have to go away to New York or to a major metropolitan to have a great opportunity, but opportunity exists here today," says Cotrenia Hood, Vice President of Business Development for the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce.
The Partnership for Collier's Future Economy is a new initiative the Chamber of Commerce took on last year after the economic development council closed its doors. They reached out to Junior Achievement, a non-profit already working with young people in the community.
"We try to work with our classrooms and take them to local job sites so they can see there are great opportunities right here in Collier County, right here at home," says Anne Frazier, President and CEO of Junior Achievement of Southwest Florida.
The Chamber has more than 1800 member businesses. The ones that stand out in Collier County are hospitality and healthcare jobs. But, they hope to use this new partnership to plant a seed in students that Collier County has much more to offer.
"There are diverse industries here that exist in Collier County that a lot of young people don't know. What we'd like to do is better educate them with the resources that are available, the organizations that are available. Hopefully as they go on to college that they'll think about coming back to Collier County to work and live," says Hood.