Washington Business Week – 47 Years of Preparing Students to Successfully Enter the Workforce by Giving them the Skills, Confidence, and Values to Succeed in Life

In the early 1970s, the president of Central Washington University, Jim Brooks, began facilitating meetings that brought together the state’s business and education leaders. Even back then, the national sentiment was that students were graduating from high school without the critical skills that employers were looking for in employees. After many meetings, a solution was born: Central Washington University would host Business Week in the summer of 1976.

From that single summer session and 225 kids, Washington Business Week has grown to serve more than 3,000 teens throughout Washington state through summer camps and in-school community programs each year. Every year, dozens of businesses and hundreds of working professionals participate in providing teens a real-world experience in a variety of careers. Building on our highly popular business program, Washington Business Week has expanded to include career pathways in healthcare, clean energy, and an advanced business week program.

In 2020, faced with the Corona Virus pandemic, Washington Business Week created an innovative platform to deliver the camp virtually. Our new WILE (Washington Innovative Learning Environment) software has gone live for the first time for our June 2020 camp.

Financial transparency for our supporters is paramount to the organization. Below you will find our most recent financial statements.

FinancialsThe latest Financial Review will be available next year.

Foundation for Private Enterprise Education 2019 Review

2019 Foundation for Private Enterprise Form 990 Government Copy

Annual Reports – WBW produces an annual report at the end of each calendar year.

2022 WBW Annual Report

2021 WBW Annual Report

2020 WBW Annual Report

2019 WBW Annual Report


The power of business and industry to affect positive change in our communities is immense. At Business Week, we have an opportunity to influence the next generation of Business Leaders, ensuring the values that create truly positive change in our world are instilled at a fundamental level. I always teach that profit is neither good nor bad—it’s a tool. How we use that tool to make the world a better place is how our businesses, and ourselves, will be defined and remembered. If my community is not successful, my business can never succeed.

– Joe Hyer, Olympia City Council


The Association of Washington Business (AWB) Board unanimously passed support for a proposal from Dr. Brooks that Central Washington State College (CWSC), The Superintendent of Public Instruction and AWB co-sponsor a summer “Business Week” program for high school juniors.
The tagline for Business Week was “…Understanding Private Enterprise.”

The first Business Week program was held at Central Washington State College as a one week program that began on August 8th. At Dr. Brook’s suggestion the first Business Week coincided with the U.S. Bicentennial celebration.

“Private Enterprise Village” was the name given to the dorm complex for the week.

Hal Wolf, a grocer from Yelm, was appointed to lead the program as chairman of the AWB Business Week activities. Hal continued in the role (both officially & unofficially) for over a decade and became “Mr. Business Week.” Educators were invited to participate in the Business Week program for the first time.

Business Week added a second week at CWSC.

Linda Mackintosh was listed as the Executive Director of Business Week.

Business Week programs had been established in California, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
Leadership Week, a program conceived, developed and directed by Dr. Jim Brooks, was first held at CWSC. Forty students who wanted to attend Business Week for a second year paid their own way or raised money from business to attend.

The Foundation for Private Enterprise Education was officially incorporated as a separate 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

The Business Week program was held for the first at the University of Puget Sound.
The Business Week program was held for the first at Whitworth College.

Christy White was the first alumna (1976) to return as a Company Advisor.

The Business Week program was held for the first time at Gonzaga University.

The first National Business Week conference was held in Bismarck, North Dakota.

First (and only) Business Week program was held at Evergreen State College.
Theresa Bunger is listed as the new Business Week Executive Director.

Business Week Government Day, a one day gathering in Olympia for high students to meet their state legislators and learn about state government, was held.

Marianne Berry is listed as the Executive Director of Business Week.
Beverlee Hughes is listed as the Executive Director of Business Week.
Australia Business Week Program was launched.
The Business Week program was held for the first at Western WA University.
Steve Hyer joined the Washington Business Week staff as Executive Director.
PEMCO Scholarships were first awarded to Washington Business Week students.
Board adopted the In-School Concept. Pasco High School held the first program, followed by Okanogan/Omak and Emerald Ridge.

Students from Belarus began attending Business Week at CWU; six students per year.

Ten board members and volunteers took the Business Week program to Belarus.

The Foundation raised over one million dollars in funding.

The Advanced Program was launched at CWU.

Student fee was increased from $95 to $295 as a necessity to have sufficient income.

The Foundation started the Financial Assistance Fund to help students who couldn’t afford the registration fee.

Four or five students per year from Poland began attending the summer program.

A 30th Anniversary Celebration event was held with 200 attendees.

Destination Healthcare (3-day program) was funded by a grant and held in Moses Lake, Wenatchee and Okanogan/Omak. (Moses Lake is still going in 2010).

Several students from Hungary began attending in the summer.

The Ed Westfall Memorial Award, in memory of Ed Westfall, a long-time volunteer and financial supporter of Business Week, was established to honor a current volunteer who has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

The Educator of the Year Award was created to recognize an educator who demonstrates outstanding support for the program.

Accounting & Finance Pathway added (operated for just two years).

The Business Week program was held for the first time at Pacific Lutheran University.

The Foundation’s Mission Statement was updated: We educate and inspire high school students to recognize their potential as employees, employers and citizens in a free enterprise society.

Healthcare Week and Construction Week were added as Pathways for the summer program.
Vision and Mission Statements were revised: Vision: All high school students will achieve success in the local, regional and global economy. Mission: through our partnership with business and education we educate and inspire high school students to recognize their potential as responsible employees, employers, and citizens.

Adopted the Road Map 2008-2012.

Northwest Business Week concept became a topic of discussion that could include WA, OR, ID and AK.

The Mayor of Gdynia, Poland, invited the Business Week Program to Poland. Gdynia Business Week was held in August for 100 students and will become an annual event with potential growth.
Get AMPT! Week (Manufacturing, Aerospace, Marine and Process Technology) Pathway was added, beginning at Gonzaga.

The first Alaska Business Week was held in Fairbanks through contract with the Alaska State Chamber of Commerce.

Agri-Business one-day agriculture program was held at Columbia Basin Community College.

Oregon Business Week was revived with help from the Association of Washington Business.

Energy Week Pathway was added, beginning at Central Washington University.

Gdynia Business Week was expanded in Poland to add programs in Bolesławowo and Gdańsk.

The first Agri-Business Week Pathway was held at Central Washington University – key partner is the Washington State Potato Commission.

Poland Business Week added a program in Mińsk Mazowiecki, bringing the total number of programs to four.

The first Business Week program was held at Seattle University.
The foundation’s Vision Statement is revised to “Washington Business Week unleashes passion for entrepreneurship and leadership, empowering business teams of tomorrow.”

Herman Calzadillas is listed as the Executive Director.

WBW launched a very successful summer day-program at Renton Technical College.

Due to the increasing interest and growth in the technology industry, WBW launched the Technology Week pathway.