Google's Pittsburgh office.

An upcoming speed networking event aims to pair educators and local companies, with the goal of developing relationships to help students and their potential future employers.

The second Biz-Ed Blitz: Connecting Classrooms to Careers will be held April 7 at Google Pittsburgh‘s office in Bakery Square. It’s an initiative of Asset STEM Education, a nonprofit established by the Bayer Corporation and community partners to foster and improve STEM education training.

It’s well-documented that a major challenge for many businesses is developing a talent pipeline to fill specialized jobs. That’s where Asset comes in, and where they’re trying to draw more teachers into the conversation.

“Teachers don’t have the same networking opportunities that people in business do,” says Karen Ahearn, Asset’s director of organizational development. “They’re in an educational environment their entire lives.” Teachers and other educators sometimes have difficulty finding out about advances that could affect students, she says.

At the Biz-Ed Blitz, educators will be connected with Pittsburgh-area businesses in need of employees, to talk about developing students as future job candidates, Ahearn says. It’s different from other conferences because no one is going to be pitching educators on products or software to buy. It’s an exchange of ideas, and one that goes both ways, she adds.

Last year's Biz-Ed Blitz was sold out. Photo courtesy Asset inc.
Last year’s Biz-Ed Blitz was sold out. Photo courtesy Asset inc.
Last year’s Biz-Ed Blitz was sold out. Photo courtesy Asset inc.

So far, educators from 11 school districts, five higher education institutions and six out-of-school time learning organizations (such as day care or after-school programs) will participate in the blitz event, with representatives from companies like Bayer USA, Covestro and PPG scheduled to attend.

The Biz-Ed Blitz is free to attend and is supported by the Alcoa Foundation and FedEx Ground. Event space has been donated courtesy of Google, which Ahearn says has been a strong partner in the effort. Last year’s inaugural event was sold out, she adds, so anyone interested should sign up soon.

For more information about the Biz-Ed Blitz, visit Asset’s website.

Kim Lyons is an award-winning writer and editor always on the lookout for a great story. Her experience includes writing about business, politics, and local news, and she has a huge crush on Pittsburgh.