• Chamber's CHAMPS program receives VA Dept. Education award

    For immediate release: May 9, 2016


    Chesterfield, VA – The Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce’s CHAMPS (Chamber Helping Achieve Meaningful Partnerships in Schools) program has been selected by the Virginia Department of Education as the Region 1 winner of the 2016 Creating Excellence Business and Industry Partnerships Award.

    “We have been blown away by the support from the business community,” said Dr. David Eshelman, Director of Career and Technical Education for Chesterfield County Public Schools. “Everywhere I turn, people have stepped up to the plate particularly with the opening of a second technical center and it meant so much. The involvement of the business community really is critical to the success of the programs. Teachers can’t do it alone.”

    “Our members who serve on CHAMPS are some of the most dedicated people I know,” said Danna Markland, President of the Chesterfield Chamber. “Their activities within the schools have a tremendous impact on individual students, teachers, and the overall ability to produce workplace-ready graduates. I am absolutely thrilled that the hard work of these volunteers has been recognized and I hope it motivates other businesses to get involved.”

    The CHAMPS program started in the Chesterfield Chamber more than a decade ago by a small group of DuPont Spruance Plant employees who gathered other members into the effort. Today, CHAMPS continues to stand for small and large businesses engaging in the development of Chesterfield County’s future workforce.

    The Virginia Department of Education recognizes exemplary engagement in business partnerships in developing and supporting a quality career and technical education program. Nominee evaluations were made with the following criteria:
    • The business partner ensures that programs and curricula are relevant in today’s workplace.
    • The business partner participates in classroom, extracurricular, and student leadership activities.
    • The business partner provides work-based learning experiences through job shadow, mentoring, and/or internships.
    • The business partner promotes the CTE program.

    Nominations are reviewed by a regional/state judging panel that selects recipients. A June 9 awards luncheon is scheduled in Richmond. Further information on the award: http://www.doe.virginia.gov/administrators/superintendents_memos/2016/014-16a.pdf