BEST program pairs teachers and businesses

The Concord Chamber of Commerce has been involved with education for decades.

One of our programs is BEST Day (Business & Educators Shadowing for Tomorrow), which is in its 22nd year. The event is a joint effort of the Chamber of Commerce, John Muir Health, OPUS LEEDS (Linking Education & Economic Development Strategies) and the Mt. Diablo Unified School District.

BEST Day provides opportunities for elementary, middle and high school teachers to shadow one of nearly two dozen business leaders and experts in a wide variety of fields. This “field trip for teachers” pairs them with local technology, finance, retail, health and other industries. They visit the various businesses and learn skills that their students will need to compete, contribute, lead and succeed in the 21st century.

On Feb. 7, we met at John Muir Medical Center for an overview and then the teachers split into small groups and went out to more than 20 businesses to shadow for a few hours. Businesses they visited include Sun Valley Shopping Center, Alpine Pastry & Cakes, Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, Concord Public Works and Mt. Diablo Recycling.

Teachers and some business partners reconvened at John Muir for lunch, where teams debriefed and discussed impacts that the experience would have on them and what they could take back to the classroom. The teams shared memories of their day with the whole group.

Teachers said they learned about the importance of teamwork and collaboration, the importance of working together to solve problems, the need for a clear focus, the importance of students having hands-on learning and how essential the basic skills are. They also saw how many job opportunities there are for students in the Bay Area.
The chamber is proud of its connection to education in our community. Watch for our upcoming scholarship program for high school seniors and our Student Showcase on April 29.

For more information, contact Marilyn Fowler at

Marilyn Fowler