BEST, an acronym for Business and Education Serving Together, is a program of the Cleveland/Bradley Chamber of Commerce that partners a business and a selected school to utilize the strengths of both to ultimate strengthen the workforce of the community.
Whirlpool Corporation and Park View launched their new partnership during in-service days prior to the first day of classes.
“We are so excited to be entering into a BEST Partnership with Whirlpool,” Principal Deb Bailey declared. “Park View's emphasis on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) makes for a perfect partnership with Whirlpool.”
Park View, the county’s newest elementary school, is located at 300 Minnis Road, near the new Whirlpool Corporation facility on Benton Pike.
“We are delighted to welcome Whirlpool into our neighborhood and look forward to other plants joining them in the future,” Bailey said. “Our goal is to prepare our students to be college-and-career ready, and therefore, provide great employees for Whirlpool in the future.”
Bailey noted that Park View teachers spent an in-service day at Whirlpool.
“We appreciate the hospitality Whirlpool has already afforded our faculty by providing space for professional development during in-service before school,” the principal said. “They were gracious enough to give us guided tours through the beautiful new facility. We discovered many commonalities between the plant facility and the educational facility.”
She stressed, “Park View Elementary truly wants this to be a partnership where we can both assist the needs and visions of the other.”
Whirlpool leaders share the same view.
“We are excited to partner with Park View Elementary School this year as one of our BEST Partners,” said Cindy Slater, operations manager for the Cleveland Division. “Whirlpool has a long commitment of giving back to the community, and our participation in the Chamber of Commerce BEST program is another way of showing our support and commitment to Cleveland and Bradley County. This partnership will allow us to share resources that will continue to grow for years to come.”
Slater continued, “We are especially excited to work with Deb Bailey and her team and look forward to working together to support the needs of their students.”
She also commented on the in-service day. “We were honored to host the Park View team on Friday, Aug. 3, and to show off our new home.”
During the onsite visit, Whirlpool Senior Director Dicky Walters presented each of the Park View staff members a key chain in the shape of a house welcoming them to Whirlpool’s new home.
In the spirit of genuine partnership, Slater added, “We look forward to an exciting year working side by side with Park View.”
Sherry Crye, director of workforce development for the Chamber of Commerce, coordinates the BEST partnership program.
“The proximity of Whirlpool and Park View makes this partnership a good fit,” Crye said. “They’ve already proven to be good neighbors to each other. Whirlpool has been a chamber member since 1955 and a longtime supporter of our workforce development programs. This new partnership will help ensure that another group of students will be prepared to join the workforce in the years to come.”
According to Crye, schools in Bradley County Schools and Cleveland City Schools have one or more local business partners as part of the BEST program. Private schools that are chamber members may also participate in the program.
For information about the BEST partnership program, call Crye at 472-6587.