Torrance area educators pause for a photo at American Honda Motor Co, Inc.

Twenty-eight Torrance Unified School District teachers and administrators met yesterday for their fourth session of “Educators in the Workplace.” This program, hosted by the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce, establishes a vital link between classroom learning and the 21st century workforce.

Yesterday’s visit included Virco Manufacturing Corporation, America’s leading manufacturer and supplier of furniture and equipment for K-12 schools; and American Honda Motor Co., Inc., the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer and second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer. Educators at each site were greeted and provided tours by presidents, executive vice presidents, corporate social responsibility & foundation managers, corporate community relations coordinators, front office personnel, leadership teams, and other employees on staff.

At each location, educators listened to presentations on skill sets that are important to secure an employment position. One interesting topic that came up focused on the particular skill sets, or lack thereof, that could result in an individual being fired. Showing up late to work, not meeting deadlines, lack of discipline, and lack of respect for superiors were discussed as definite “don’ts.” Douglas Virtue, Executive Vice President of Virco, discussed the lack of “grit” (resolve and strength of character) that he sees in today’s incoming workforce. Doug discussed the importance of grit, stating, “Grit will help you stick with something through the hard times, and push you toward success.”

In addition to the required skills, educators also learned the importance of collaboration, communication, work ethic, critical thinking and problem solving, responsibility, and determination in the workplace. First grade teacher Kathy Black from Arnold Elementary said about the program, “Even in first grade, you can take what you are learning from these sessions and incorporate them into teaching how to collaborate with others, one’s purpose and the essential skills required in today’s workforce.”

Yesterday’s visit was the fourth full day of business visits for the 28 educators. The Educators have one more session left that will take place on May 10th, with visits to Kinecta Federal Credit Union and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center. The developing partnerships between educators and the toured businesses will assist students in succeeding in the workplace, in college, and in life.

by Shatera Luna

Shatera is the Events Coordinator for the Torrance Area Chamber of Commerce. If you have any questions about an upcoming event, feel free to contact her at any time.

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