Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Helping your community

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     There is a lot of interest today in helping the less fortunate among us. All sorts of schemes are put forth by politicians--these are mostly designed to get votes in the next election.

     But business owners can get involved in helping others in a more helpful way. Look for ways to become a more vital part of the community.

     Example: Arthur runs an auto repair shop. He employs three workers who are trained technicians. In addition, Arthur brings in young people who have an interest in vehicles. They are not employees, and they don't do any hands-on work at the shop. Instead, they observe, learn, follow the technicians around and ask questions, learning as they go. Arthur is providing an opportunity for young people to get acquainted with business, with vehicle repair, and all the rest. He has watched several young people go on to have careers in the field. 

     Technical schools teach various trades, but students stuck in public high schools don't get much hands-on exposure to career paths. But just about any business can provide a valuable community service by exposing young people to real career paths.

     Example: Margie is a CPA specializing in taxes. She handles clients in small and medium-sized businesses. And she does more. She realized years ago that kids in school don't necessarily appreciate the value of business in general or, specifically, accounting and taxes. She volunteered to hold sessions at local schools showing how important businesses were to the local community, and, in particular, how important learning math can be to the successful operation of any business. Teachers regularly bring Margie in for brief sessions, and some have steered students on field trips to Margie's offices--as well as to her clients' offices. The youngsters see up close how businesses work and how important math can be.  

     These types of interactions with your community can pay off. It spreads knowledge in a way quite different from in-school sessions. It helps young people see the connections that make communities work. And it exposes youngsters to possible career paths they might not otherwise consider. 

     Perhaps more importantly, involvement with youngsters in the community educates them into the basics of business. And, after all, it's small business that provides most of the jobs, the goods and services that communities depend on. 

     Your involvement in your community is much more important than all the schemes politicians foist upon us. Politicians have a temporary and ulterior motive, but you have a future community to care about.

     Young people are the future. They will take over after you're gone. They will be running the businesses that make communities work. And you have a big time interest in this.  



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