Westfield Chamber of Commerce partners with Purdue Polytechnic, Westfield High School

From left, Jack Russell, Jeff Griffin, Stacy McGuire, Dan Dougherty and Matt Putman recently announced a partnership with Purdue Polytechnic Institute, the Westfield Chamber of Commerce and Westfield High School. (Submitted photo)

From left, Jack Russell, Jeff Griffin, Stacy McGuire, Dan Dougherty and Matt Putman recently announced a partnership with Purdue Polytechnic Institute, the Westfield Chamber of Commerce and Westfield High School. (Submitted photo)

By Anna Skinner

The Westfield Chamber of Commerce recently announced a partnership with Westfield High School titled “Chamber Innovation” last month. Purdue Polytechnic Institute also has joined the partnership.

“We started this idea called ‘Chamber Innovation’ to try to find some innovative ways through our students and business community to expand on innovation itself,” Chamber President Jack Russell said. “I am happy to announce that Purdue Polytechnic of Kokomo has partnered with us. It started as an idea, a concept, so it’s amazing to see how it turned into reality.”

WHS Principal Stacey McGuire also spoke at the announcement, saying that when students enter WHS, teachers are training them for jobs that don’t yet exist.

“We need to make sure our kids have a core set of skills,” she said. “Also, we need to make sure  they are constantly able to learn in a world they’re going to face that’s ever-evolving. With Jack and the chamber, it just really is going to help take our idea of what is best for graduation and what our kids need and catapult it into reality. We are so excited with this partnership with Purdue because with this in place, we are teaching kids it’s OK to think, OK to come up with ideas.”

WHS also has teamed with Builders Association of Greater Indianapolis for construction and Jonathan Byrd’s for hospitality in addition to Purdue and the chamber. Purdue Polytechnic will work with schools and businesses to meet a need for an educated, STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) workforce.

“It actually brings a lot of added benefits to the high school and central Indiana,” teacher Matt Putman said. “We look at it as an opportunity to expand on dual-credit opportunities to earn college credit.”

Purdue Polytechnic also works with robotics, and Putman mentioned in his comments that WHS has a robotics team.