LAS VEGAS – Leading Southern Nevada business organizations are coming together to commit time, talent, and resources in order to accelerate student achievement, and are asking local business owners and executive decision makers to join them in a one-of-a kind activation event: The Business + Education (BE) Engaged Conference 2016: Accelerating a New Nevada. The conference, to be held March 7th at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, from 7:30 – 11 a.m., followed by a nonprofit trade show and VIP luncheon, promises to align local businesses with some of the most effective education programs to help accelerate the education reforms passed during the last legislative session, offering business leaders a forum to engage then and there.
The Las Vegas Metro Chamber and Las Vegas Global Economic Alliance (LVGEA) are co-hosting the BE Engaged conference. Las Vegas Metro Chamber Chairman John Guedry, CEO of Bank of Nevada and LVGEA Chairman Ray Specht, Vice Chairman Toyota Financial Savings Bank, are working to connect businesses from across Southern Nevada with various education nonprofits and program providers. The program will be in partnership with the Asian, Henderson, Latin and Urban chambers of commerce, as well as The Smith Center for the Performing Arts, Bank of Nevada, Cox Communications, Toyota Financial and Vegas PBS as corporate sponsors of the event.
The BE Engaged program will highlight four areas of need that are tied to student success in the classroom. The areas are literacy, poverty, workforce development and human capital. The forum will highlight data that will make the case for businesses to get involved, as well as showcase examples of businesses that are currently committed to supporting students through volunteer and monetary support. Elaine Wynn, president of the Nevada Board of Education, will address the audience about the urgent need for businesses to engage in education reform efforts.
The program will be followed by a trade show of nonprofit and school program providers with which businesses can sign up to support targeted programs, whether through volunteerism, mentorship, in-kind supplies or monetary donations.
Additionally, there will be a limited-seating luncheon with a thought-provoking keynote address by Dr. Alan Gomez, founder and chief academic officer of The STEM Academy, a national nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing economic development by improving STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) literacy for all students. Dr. Gomez sat on the National Academy of Engineering’s committee that is charged with “Understanding and Improving K-12 Engineering Education in the United States” and is a former NASA Astronaut Selection Candidate.
“Nevada is locked in a global race for talent and opportunity. Our ability to compete, attract new business, diversify our economic base and create more good paying jobs is being hampered by the performance of Nevada’s K-12 education system. That’s why the Metro Chamber and other business leaders stepped up and supported education reform during the 2015 legislative session. We know that business needs to be a big part of the solution,” said John Guedry, CEO of Bank of Nevada and 2016 Metro Chamber chairman. “This conference is designed to be a catalyst for business leaders to engage directly with some of the most effective nonprofits dedicated to improving education throughout our community and whose missions map specifically to the governor’s education initiatives and can help enhance achievement.”
“Education and economic development are inextricably linked. As the regional development authority for Southern Nevada, we know that the greatest barrier to entry for a company’s relocation to our market is our education system and ability to provide quality workers,” said Ray Specht, Vice Chairman of Toyota Financial Savings Bank. “Successful students are more likely to become successful and talented workers, which in turn will help us to recruit more high-wage companies. The LVGEA was a strong supporter of Governor Sandoval’s education reforms in 2015 and believes now is the time to build on that progress by engaging the business community to accelerate achievement in the classroom.”
“We owe it to our children to remove roadblocks and provide the resources they need to be successful in the classroom, which will ultimately help strengthen our economy by producing a highly educated workforce,” said Michael F. Bolognini, vice president and market leader for Cox Communications Las Vegas. “Children and education have been part of Cox’s philanthropic cornerstones for decades, which makes it an easy decision to lock arms with the rest of the business community and support this powerful program.”
The BE Engaged conference is limited to the first 1,000 guests who purchase tickets at The Smith Center box office or online at bit.ly/BEEngaged. The cost is $10 for the program, including a continental breakfast. The VIP luncheon is limited to 200 guests. The cost is $50 for the luncheon and includes preferred seating for the program.