State Secretary of Workforce Development Speaks to Young Entrepreneurs at DC Everest High School
WESTON — Reggie Newson, Secretary of Workforce Development for the state of Wisconsin, recently paid a visit to the DC Everest Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!), ran as a partnership between the Wausau Region Chamber of Commerce and the DC Everest School District. This is the inaugural year of YEA! in the school district and the students are already well on their way to becoming CEOs of their own businesses.
YEA! is a program that transforms local high school students into real, confident entrepreneurs. Through its hands-on classes, high school students generate business ideas, conduct market research, write business plans, pitch to a panel of investors, and launch fully formed businesses from the ground up, with instruction and inspiration from local teachers and business leaders. Students will own and can continue running their businesses after graduation from the program.
Secretary Newson leads the state agency charged with building and strengthening Wisconsin's workforce. In his visit, Newson listened as the students described their business ideas, observing the clear passion the students have for their new ventures. He witnessed firsthand the opportunity YEA! presents to local high school students in central Wisconsin and beyond.
“YEA! is helping to build the next generation of business leaders here in Wisconsin, which strengthens the overall workforce in the state. Programs like YEA! play an important role by instilling confidence in our students, and empowering them to be innovative,” said Newson.
As part of YEA!, students are introduced to all facets of the business world such as advertising, insurance, graphic design and web development. Over the course of this year’s YEA! program, 13 students will launch 12 businesses, including Shallocat, a modern, hip embroidery business and Peak Waxing, which makes affordable ski and snowboarding waxing tables.
During the course of the year-long program, more than 25 local businesses will be involved with YEA! at various levels. Students work in close cooperation with local business leaders, community leaders and educators who use their personal experiences to demonstrate how to transform their ideas into tangible enterprises that create economic and social value. At the end, the region will have 12 new businesses to support the economy and a class full of entrepreneurial-minded leaders to enhance the local workforce.
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy
The Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA!) is a 501(c)(3) offering groundbreaking year-long classes that teach middle and high school students how to start and run their own businesses. Throughout the class, students develop business ideas, write business plans, conduct market research, pitch their plans to a panel of investors for startup funds, and launch and run their own, fully formed companies and social movements. The project-based program empowers students to take charge of their futures.
Founded in 2004 at the University of Rochester with support from the Kauffman Foundation, YEA! today serves thousands of students nationwide. In 2011, the United States Chamber of Commerce Foundation became a national sponsor and partner of the Academy to help celebrate the spirit of enterprise among today's youth and tomorrow's future leaders.
YEA! bridges the business and educational communities to fulfill its mission of teaching more students how to make a job, not just take a job. YEA! is made possible by The Kauffman Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the E. Philip Saunders Foundation. For more information, visit yeausa.org.