Lakeland Business Guide 2019 Chamber Guide_2019 - Page 78

coding, and executive office systems. The Foundation provides the college with a grant for skills education for individuals who would like to pursue further education, but require financial assistance. As a way to retain talent in Lakeland, the Chamber offers internship opportunities for high school and college students to shadow local professionals. This allows students to gain experience, develop advanced skills, and build their resumes while still in school. The Foundation also held an Early Decision Orientation Intern program, in addition to creating workshops and training for soft skills for college and high school students. “The Foundation hopes to aid in developing a talent pipeline to attract the best and brightest students at our local universities to enter the workforce here in Lakeland by creating networking opportunities and internship possibilities,” says Pettaway. One of the courses the Foundation currently offers for new business development is New Business 101. This class provides four sessions where local entrepreneurs can work to develop and finalize their business plans under the guidance of local mentors. Individuals who take the class will also learn from city and county ombudsman, bank officials, and marketing professionals. Those who complete the course will receive a complimentary six-month Chamber membership as well as the guidance of a mentor to assist them with their business endeavors. “The idea is that if we interact with these businesses before their doors open, they will stay open,” adds Pettaway. Another area identified as a need in the Lakeland community was management training. “The Foundation will also make an impact by providing management training to ensure a more 78