Business Week comes to state

Business Week is coming to Edmonds.

The 30-year-old program, which aims to teach high school students about business, personal finance and free enterprise, plans a week-long, first-of-its-kind session in March at Edmonds Community College for students from the Edmonds School District.

For details on the Washington Business Week program in Edmonds, or to volunteer as a judge, speaker or adviser, call 800-686-6442 or go to

It will complete a two-year process that started when Edmonds school and business leaders contacted Washington Business Week to discuss options, said Shannon Matson, the program’s manager in Olympia. “All the elements fell into place really easily.”

Washington Business Week has offered summer programs to high school students on college campuses for decades. In week-long sessions, teens would gather to work with adult volunteers to run mock companies, and to attend seminars on business topics.

The mock business programs are “pretty sophisticated,” Matson said. “They’re going through a college-level simulation.”

And the seminars introduce the students to key concepts they’ll need to understand as adults. “For many of these kids, it’s the first time they’ve heard anything about personal credit.”

The organization runs those summer programs now on the campuses of Central Washington, Western Washington and Gonzaga universities.

Over the past decade, it’s offered programs during the school year, too, at sites around the state. The Edmonds program, which will run March 21-25, will be the first ever in Snohomish County.

Between 100 and 120 students – 20 from each high school in the Edmonds School District and as many as 20 home-schooled teens – have been picked for the program. They’ll be split up into “companies” of 12 to 15 who will work together on projects.

It’s a pilot program for Business Week, which has never tried bringing together students from this many schools for one session, Matson said.

The program will be held on the campus of Edmonds Community College in Lynnwood, which is a benefit, Matson said, because it emphasizes the importance of education in preparing for a business career.

The program is being offered in conjunction with the Edmonds Education Association – the teachers’ union in the district – and members of the Edmonds business community.

The schools are in charge of picking the students who will represent them, Matson said.

“We want them to be average kids, a cross-section of the student body,” she said.

The organization still is looking for adult volunteers, particularly advisors, but also guest speakers and judges who will evaluate the performance of each student company.

After this year’s session, Business Week organizers hope to work out a plan for expanding the program for next year, Matson said. “We envision both growing geographically and in number of students.”

Reporter Bryan Corliss: 425-339-3454 or

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