Washington Business Week – 44 Years of Preparing Students to Successfully Enter the Workforce by Giving them the Skills, Confidence, and Values to Succeed in Life
In the early 1970’s the president of Central Washington University, Jim Brooks, began facilitating meetings that brought together the state’s business and education leaders. Even back then, 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, technology, and an advanced business week program.
In 2020 faced with the Corona Virus pandemic Washington Business Week created an innovative platform to delivery the camp virtually. Our new WILE (Washington Innovative Learning Environment) will go 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.
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.
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.
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.
The Foundation for Private Enterprise Education was officially incorporated as a separate 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.
Christy White was the first alumna (1976) to return as a Company Advisor.
The first National Business Week conference was held in Bismarck, North Dakota.
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.
Students from Belarus began attending Business Week at CWU; six students per year.
The Foundation raised over one million dollars in funding.
Student fee was increased from $95 to $295 as a necessity to have sufficient income.
Four or five students per year from Poland began attending the summer program.
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.
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.
Adopted the Road Map 2008-2012.
Northwest Business Week concept became a topic of discussion that could include WA, OR, ID and AK.
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.
Gdynia Business Week was expanded in Poland to add programs in Bolesławowo and Gdańsk.
Poland Business Week added a program in Mińsk Mazowiecki, bringing the total number of programs to four.
Herman Calzadillas is listed as the Executive Director.
Due to the increasing interest and growth in the technology industry, WBW launched the Technology Week pathway.