Help us Bridge The Gap Between Businesses and Schools.

Provide Shop Tours and Open Houses

A great way to publicize your service business is to schedule a student tour. The purpose is to invite students and instructors into your place of business. They can meet you and your employees while learning more about your service business operation and the employment opportunities you may have. This is a great way to engage at the local level and get to know one another!

A Workplace Tour is a highly structured Career Awareness activity in which students visit a workplace, learn about the business, meet employees, ask questions, and observe work in progress. More than a simple field trip or site visit, a Workplace Tour is designed and structured to meet specific learning outcomes, be educationally rich, and build awareness of the business, its industry sector, its role in the economy and the career options it provides.

Ideally, a Workplace Tour ideally involves preparation and follow-up in the classroom, including research and reflection by students. Tours generally last between an hour-and-a-half to two hours.

Key steps in conducting a Shop Tour:
• First, discuss with your insurance company to address any concerns with visitors touring different parts of your company. Always put safety first.
• Discuss with your school contacts to verify dates, get permission slips, and organize transportation.
• Coordinate with others in your company and select tour guides and ask folks in different departments to talk about what they do and how long they have been with your company.
• Develop questions to ask the participants – this will assist in engaging the group and provide you and your staff with an increased understanding of their views and how they perceive your company
• Designate a coordinator (if not yourself)
• Create a plan (start/end times, budget, layout, catering, announcements, invitation list, etc.)
• Organize your preparation, set-up checklist, and confirm ‘your message’.
• Decide on a Reception area and ‘route’ through the business.
• Identify any handouts or takeaways.
• Plan a demonstration or hands-on activity or two. Make the activities interactive with the students if possible.
• Keep a journal of the event so you can make the next event even better!

Another alternative is an Open House that takes place after school hours or on the weekend. This can be opened up to multiple schools and the entire surrounding community, and attract students of all ages, their parents, instructors, school counselors, and administrators (principal, department chair, dean, etc.)

Key steps in conducting an Open House:
• Again, discuss with your insurance company to address any concerns with visitors touring different parts of your company. Always put safety first.
• Meet with your employees, discuss the idea, and select possible dates
• Check with the school or schools to see which of the dates you selected work for them. Schedule far enough out for folks to secure it on their calendar.
• Work with the local school or schools (high school & colleges) to promote your Open House to students, family members, administrators, and teachers
• Meet with your department heads and determine who and how small groups or families will tour and learn about each department
• Use fliers, email, and social media to communicate the times and activities of the event
• Have a sign-in sheet, serve refreshments, and have small giveaways/door prizes
• Showcase the safety features and technology on the vehicles you sell or service and demonstrate the equipment and expertise needed to service those vehicles
• Use a scavenger hunt to showcase specific features, benefits, and employment opportunities in each department
• Follow-up after the open house with a Thank You email

Time commitment: 10 to 20 hours, including planning

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