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WHS Business Ignite Class Visits Chamber

Students in the CAPS (Center for Advanced Professional Studies) Business Ignite class at Washington High School visited the Washington Chamber of Commerce office Tuesday morning.

Students got an overview of what the Chamber does, how it performs its duties and how it serves the community. They also received a rundown of community events and other projects put on by the organization.

Chamber employees gave students a tour of the building, which recently was renovated. Students checked out the tourism director, marketing director and finance director offices, as well as the Washington Town and Country Fair office, which is a division of the Chamber.

The CAPS Ignite class focuses on business innovation. Students learn foundational skills in the area of business when starting a company and have an opportunity to engage with real professionals in the field throughout the process.

The Washington School District is currently remodeling the former machine shop at the Four Rivers Career Center to serve as the new home for the CAPS incubator program.

CAPS is a nationally recognized high school program. Students fast forward into their future and are fully immersed in a professional culture, solving real world problems, using industry standard tools and are mentored by actual employers, all while receiving high school and college credit.

Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said CAPS is an example of how business, community and public education can partner to produce personalized learning experiences that educate the workforce of tomorrow, especially in high-skill, high-demand jobs.

This past September, Corey Mohn, the executive director at Blue Valley School District CAPS, visited with students in CAPS programs here.

Mohn gave the students a rundown on how the CAPS network started and how it has progressed over the years.

The students shared information on the various projects they’ve been working on and ideas they have for the future.

Students also have pitched business ideas for the community to Downtown Washington Inc. representatives. Ideas included Food Truck Friday, bicycle stations, mural art and breakout rooms.

Additionally, students took a field trip to Cape Girardeau to visit two business incubators and another business.

This is the second CAPS course to emerge as part of the school district’s Advanced Professional Studies option. A Teaching Careers course was the first.