In the Spotlight
Classrooms, Curriculum & Careers: Teachers Connect with Local Businesses
On Wednesday, October 10, 2007, seventeen educators from throughout the Upper Valley toured local businesses with the goal of taking away ideas to apply directly to their classrooms. Language and math teachers, special educators, school-to-work coordinators and many others participated in these afternoon workplace tours. Following the tours, the entire group gathered together at a brainstorming session at Stryker Biotech to share thoughts of how to incorporate what they learned and the connections they made into their classroom teaching.

“Students should go to the places we went,” a participating educator shared. “The tours would open their minds more than they think. They’ll see there are so many different opportunities.”

Hypertherm and Fujifilm Dimatix hosted two of the afternoon’s ten tours. While these workplaces are located within a mile of each other, the experiences and ideas they provided teachers were very different. Three foreign language teachers discussed translation practices for marketing materials and manuals at Hypertherm. Fujifilm Dimatix provided a facilities tour and shared information about the types of positions that are available with the company, as well as the skills they are looking for their employees to possess.

Hypertherm, the global leader in plasma cutting technology, provided a unique look at how languages are a key part of their global business, and the importance of students learning a foreign language in order to excel in today’s global marketplace. At the post-tour brainstorming session, teachers shared that they plan to relay information to students about the many business opportunities available for linguists due to globalization. They also discussed how mastering a foreign language is no longer just an option -- it’s a requirement for students wanting to work in business.

Fuijifilm Dimatix, a manufacturer of printheads that are used to produce and print designs and words on signs, wall and floor coverings, foods and pharmaceuticals, provided a look at how their staff of more than 250 works together to design, produce and troubleshoot its products for customers. Three hosts provided tours of the manufacturing, design, engineering and quality assurance areas. They also showed product samples and introduced people with various responsibilities within the company. Hosts shared that when they are hiring new employees, skills like an enthusiastic and positive attitude, attention to detail in their “clean rooms” and basic math and computer skills are important for a new employee to possess.

EITW is more than just a simple tour of a company and a short post-tour discussion. It’s an opportunity to expand horizons and learn about the amazing and plentiful opportunities available in the Upper Valley. Armed with this knowledge, educators can then help in preparing the future workforce for what lies ahead.


Thank you to the following EITW workplace hosts:

Dartmouth Printing Company
Fujifilm Dimatix
Mascoma Savings Bank
Tele Atlas
NH Employment Security
Stryker Biotech
Timken Aerospace
Valley News


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