Centralia Chamber Wraps Up Real World Challenge

April 9, 2018

On Monday, March 26, the Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce wrapped-up the month long “Real World Challenge” with Mrs. Brittany Huff’s seventh grade Critical Thinking Class.
The major change to this year’s “Real World Challenge” was bringing it into the school, so more students can be impacted by the participating businesses. In total, there were 62 students who participated in this year’s program.

“In the past, the program was during the summertime, and students worked on communications and marketing projects for local businesses. Many of the projects were technology based, like creating videos for websites or social media,” says Marcus Holland, executive director of the Centralia Chamber of Commerce.

“Several chamber members met as an education committee, including Centralia Junior High School, Kaskaskia College, Monsanto, Monken Auto Group, and Rhutasel & Associates. We talked about the needs of the businesses, the needs of the community, and the needs of the educators,” says Holland.

What developed was a new focus for the “Real World Challenge,” representing the real jobs and careers that are in the Centralia area.

Seven businesses participated in this year’s program: Egyptian Workspace Partners, Kaskaskia College, Monken Auto Group, Monsanto, Rhutasel & Associates, SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital, and Winning Edge. The businesses first introduced themselves to the classrooms with short presentations about what they do in the community and the types of jobs they have. Then, the students were able to choose which businesses they would like to work on a project with.

On Monday, the businesses returned to the classroom to hear the students’ resolutions to the projects given to them. Some of the projects were very real to the students. For example, students were able to plan a new parking lot and a new office space for the junior high, which are real projects being completed over the summer by participating businesses.

“We are happy with the results of the new program and I want to thank all of the businesses who volunteered their time to educate our future workforce. I look forward to working with principal Chris Becker and the teachers at the Centralia Junior High to reach all 7th graders next year. Eventually, we would also like to duplicate this project for all area junior high level schools,” says Holland.

The Greater Centralia Chamber of Commerce offers programs and services for the community and chamber members. If you would like to know more about the Centralia Chamber of Commerce, their programs, or how to get involved, please call 618-532-6789 or visit their website: www.centraliachamber.com.