TrojanTECH Students Learn About Business from Local Entrepreneurs

Male executive director wearing a baseball hat and flannel shirt standing in front of high school students talking.

Students from Longmont High School’s Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH), traded textbooks for real-world experience on a field trip to three locally-owned businesses. TrojanTECH at Longmont High, enables students to earn their high school diploma but also pursue a no-cost associate degree in Business from Front Range Community College. Students enroll as freshmen and complete the program in 4-5 years.

The tours offered students an understanding of various business models, preparing them for their upcoming college courses. Anne Atherton, TrojanTECH Administrator, explained the purpose behind the field trip, stating, “The TrojanTECH freshmen are taking their first college course next semester through Front Range School of Business, and the purpose of the field trip is to look at different business models that local companies use.” 

The tours started at a local restaurant where Matt Grimes, Executive Director at The Roost, shared valuable insights into the foodservice industry. He emphasized the importance of passion and pursuing what you love, stating, “Choose a career you’re passionate about; it makes the job easier because anything you’re passionate about, you’re good at.” Grimes also discussed the role of core values and culture in shaping a company’s identity and attracting strong employees, highlighting punctuality as a crucial professional virtue. “The biggest thing I look for when hiring is being on time,” said Grimes.

Two high school males with curly hair listening to a speaker at a local restaurant. Sitting in chairs with brick wall and windows behind them.

Students also visited a paint-your-own pottery studio, where they learned about different aspects of the business, including customer service, marketing, social media engagement, community involvement, the nuances of paid advertising, and the traits sought in potential hires. While touring a local bank, they gained insights into banking operations, customer service, financial products, marketing, and career opportunities. 

Following the tour, freshman Alifonse Perez reflected on what she learned, stating, “What resonated most with me is the kindness, patience, and love for the community exhibited by the business owners. They stressed the importance of maintaining a positive attitude and expressed their preference for employees who desire to make a positive impact.” 

St. Vrain Valley Schools