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Utah Valley leaders praise business-education partnerships

Utah County schools honored roughly 100 companies Friday from Utah County for their important partnerships with education.

The Utah Valley Chamber of Commerce held its fifth annual Business and Education Partnership Awards on Friday morning at the Utah Valley Convention Center. The event was part of the chamber’s regular Friday Forum lineup, and was an important time to acknowledge how businesses are “elevating the game” for schools here, explained Cameron Martin, chamber board member.

Utah County school districts and colleges awarded companies of all sizes and from all industries a “Golden Apple” for their work with individual schools and across the districts.

“That’s the message we want to drive home today: no matter the size of your business, there’s a way to get involved,” said Arthur Newell of Bank of Utah and chamber board member. “It’s a very important synergistic relationship.”

Dustin Pyne with Chick-Fil-A received the Business Champion Award from Alpine School District for his service in various places, according to Sam Jarman, superintendent. Pyne partners with local school programs and parent teacher associations on many fundraisers and events.

“They are here to serve,” Jarman said.

Individual elementary, junior high and high schools in the district also recognized about 60 other businesses — including restaurants, retailers, grocers, medical offices, large corporations and other small companies — for their help.

Provo City School District recognized Josh Floisand of Comcast as their Business Champion. Keith Rittel, Provo superintendent, lauded Floisand and Comcast volunteers for their work at Provo High School during Comcast Cares Day, saying that their efforts strengthened the community of students and staff. Comcast also contributed sizable amounts in funding.

Almost 20 other businesses earned individual awards from schools within the district.

Lana Hiskey, Nebo School District community relations, honored Doug and Carol Ford of Mountain Country Foods as the district’s 2018 Business Champion. In addition to recently donating a large amount to help the schools with school safety measures, Hiskey said the Fords help in many other ways.

“They give their time, talents and treasure,” Hiskey said, adding that Carol Ford has actually served as a volunteer in local schools for 34 years.

Almost 40 local businesses received individual school awards from Nebo schools as well.

Many businesses earned awards from multiple schools across districts. Infinity Learning was the only institution to be honored by schools within all three districts. Newell explained that all the businesses recognized have contributed money, contributions in kind and time in the classrooms over the past year.

For higher education institutions, the partnerships also revolved around monetary contributions, but even more importantly, scholarships, intern opportunities, job shadowing and employment.

Mountainland Technical College honored Scott Weaver with Norco Inc. for their partnership with the school’s welding program. Utah Valley University praised Scott Barlow of Revere Health for their partnership with the UVU College of Health and Public Service. Brigham Young University honored Alex Balinski of Lifey for providing internships for more than 100 students since 2014.