L.A. Area Chamber and LAUSD Join Together To Create Business-Education Partnerships Throughout Los Angeles

February 28, 2008

Historic New Partnership Kicks Off with ‘Principal for a Day' Program Sponsored by Merrill Lynch, Matching More than 150 L.A. Executives with LAUSD Principals LOS ANGELES, CA - Today at the Miguel Contreras Learning Complex, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) announced alongside LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III, LAUSD School Board President Mónica García and L.A. Area Chamber Board Chair Tim McCallion, a historic new partnership creating the joint Office of Parent & Civic Engagement, which will serve as a clearinghouse for building business-education partnerships throughout Los Angeles. The partnership kicked off with the ‘Principal for a Day' program, a businesseducation collaboration sponsored by Merrill Lynch, which matched more than 150 local executives with LAUSD principals in a day of shadowing and dialogue.

The new L.A. Area Chamber and LAUSD partnership, made possible through a grant of the James Irvine Foundation, is a critical first step in building collaborative, long-term relationships between private and public sector companies and organizations and L.A. public schools. The joint Office of Parent & Civic Engagement will strategically match these companies and organizations with LAUSD schools to enhance curriculum with guidance from employers, deliver programs to engage the business community in public education, and enhance the District's efforts towards implementing Small Schools/Small Learning Communities.

"The Office of Parent & Civic Engagement will connect the public and private sectors through shared staff, shared programming and shared marketing, in a way that has never been done before," said L.A. Area Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Gary Toebben. "Leveraging the business community's knowledge, expertise and resources will help to create the long-lasting business-education partnerships that will benefit both students and employers for years to come." "Working in partnership with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the LAUSD will significantly expand our capacity to engage the business community in our schools," said LAUSD Superintendent David L. Brewer III. "The Office of Parent & Civic Engagement will deliver partnerships that broaden the educational opportunities for our students and at the same time, better prepare our workforce for tomorrow's economy."

Immediately following the announcement, Superintendent Brewer and L.A. Area Chamber Board Chair Tim McCallion joined United Way Executive Director Elise Buik, Merrill Lynch Vice President of Global Wealth Management Nadia Allaudin, Miguel Contreras Learning Complex Principal Heather Daims, and the Los Angeles School for Global Studies Principal Edward Colacion in the ‘Principal for a Day' shadowing program, sponsored by Merrill Lynch.

"‘Principal for a Day' provides local Merrill Lynch employees with an opportunity to experience first-hand the rewards and challenges our principals and teachers encounter every day," said Gregory Mech, Division Director, Merrill Lynch, Western Division, and ‘Principal for a Day' Honorary Host Committee Member. "We look forward to translating this one-day experience into long-term relationships that benefit our future workforce." The ‘Principal for a Day' shadowing program is the first program of the new L.A. Area Chamber and LAUSD partnership, which aims to build more than 100 business-education partnerships in the first year. Additional programs will be rolled-out throughout the year with a longer-term goal of connecting every LAUSD high school with business partners in unique relationships tailored to meet each business and school's specific needs and curriculum. ‘Principal for a Day' provides opportunities for business leaders and local principals to interact and exchange ideas about the specific challenges facing our schools and the future needs of employers. The program is intended to allow educators to share their experiences, challenges and ideas with executives and foster relationships that can develop solutions to reshape classroom instruction to meet the needs of tomorrow's demanding workforce. The ‘Principal for a Day' program is possible thanks to many sponsors including: Argosy University, James Irvine Foundation, Hilton Hotels, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Nestle, State Farm Insurance Companies, and Wells Fargo.

The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.org.

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February 28, 2008 Jessica Schmidt, 310.552.4177
Tavia Jefferson, 213.580.7548