Washington Business Week is excited to announce the New Camp Schedule – REGISTER NOW
Washington Business Week is excited to announce the New Camp Schedule – REGISTER NOW
Washington Business Week is excited to announce the New Camp Schedule
REGISTER NOW

HISTORY

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.

Foundation for Private Enterprise Education 2019 Review

2019 Foundation for Private Enterprise Form 990 Government Copy

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

MILESTONES

1975
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.
1976
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.

1977
“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.

1978
Business Week programs had been established in California, Idaho, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Pennsylvania.
1979
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.

1981
The Business Week program was held for the first at the University of Puget Sound.
1982
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.

1983
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.

1988
First (and only) Business Week program was held at Evergreen State College.
1989
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.

1990
Marianne Berry is listed as the Executive Director of Business Week.
1991
Beverlee Hughes is listed as the Executive Director of Business Week.
1993
Australia Business Week Program was launched.
1994
The Business Week program was held for the first at Western WA University.
1996
Steve Hyer joined the Washington Business Week staff as Executive Director.
1997
PEMCO Scholarships were first awarded to Washington Business Week students.
2000
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.

2001
Ten board members and volunteers took the Business Week program to Belarus.

The Foundation raised over one million dollars in funding.

2003
The Advanced Program was launched at CWU.

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

2004
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.

2005
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.

2006
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.

2007
Healthcare Week and Construction Week were added as Pathways for the summer program.
2008
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.

2009
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.
2010
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.

2011
Energy Week Pathway was added, beginning at Central Washington University.

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

2012
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.

2016
The first Business Week program was held at Seattle University.
2017
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.

2018
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.

WBW 2021 Camp Schedule is now live!

WBW is launching NEW virtual pathways