By Bernie Navarro, Posted on Sunday, August 12, 2012
The opening of the LBA Construction & Business Management Academy, a new charter school in Hialeah, should serve as a case study of how private and public sectors unite to reach big goals.
We have to recognize that the collaboration of local governments and business entities sometimes is imperative to bring to fruition projects that otherwise would never become a reality. With budget cuts to Florida’s education system growing, investing in education at a local level is more essential than ever.
The city of Hialeah, Miami-Dade County Public Schools and the Latin Builders Association (LBA), a Hispanic trade organization, worked together for about four months to approve a project for the charter high school.
Development of the school was made possible thanks to the efforts of schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez and board members of the LBA.
Located at 13835 NW 97th Ave., LBA Academy will occupy an existing education building that is mainly unoccupied, will hire teachers, staff and administrators and will offer students the opportunity to earn a diploma, industry certifications, college credits and even work towards opening their own business.
The curriculum will be centered around construction management, marketing and business administration with a strong emphasis on technology and each student will receive an iPad.
This August, more than 500 students will begin classes in the first charter school for construction and business management in the city of Hialeah which will offer options to prepare young men and women in our community for prospective jobs in industries such as construction, real estate and the business sector.
It also represents the first time a business organization, such as the LBA, has partnered with a public school system to operate a district-managed charter school in the United States.
As part of the LBA’s support to the school, we will also serve as mentors to the students and offer them internships to gain experience and possible career opportunities once they graduate. This investment in the education of our children teaches us that when local entities join forces they can reach important decisions for the well-being of our community.
The fruits of this major effort between the public and private sectors prove that, as a community, we will always achieve more if we work together.