Join the Conversation with Education

May 13, 2022 | Trends in Iowa Education Jessi McQuerrey, ABI Foundation,

ABI and the ABI Foundation are fortunate to participate in conversations regarding how the needs of business/industry translate to educational opportunities. Whether its classroom projects, workbased learning, educator externships, or apprenticeships – one thing is certain: a strong partnership between business and education is key to the success of our communities and our state.

We’re not just here to simply fill jobs (though this might be toward the top of your list), but to foster innovative, productive and engaged citizens for Iowa. Neither business nor education can solve our workforce or human needs alone. It’s because of these essential conversations, that our Business Horizons program – in its 39th year – is able to continue to adapt to these changing trends, resulting in: 

  • New learning opportunities: Five days is not near enough time to dive deep into complex concepts, but it can provide exposure to new ways of problem-solving and working that can spark curiosity and future application. Students apply frameworks like the business model canvas to assess their business idea, agile and scrum to manage their projects, and Design Thinking to navigate practical and inventive solutions to a real-world problem.
  • New strategic partnerships: There are countless Iowa organizations uniquely serving both education and business. With shared goals, we explore ways to work together rather than dilute opportunities and resources. Business Horizons students benefit from expertise from partners like the Jacobson Institute for Youth Entrepreneurship and Junior Achievement through exposure to their outstanding curriculum and opportunities for continued learning statewide.
  • Same invaluable outcomes: Business Horizons holds true to its initial purpose: to promote business in Iowa and equip students for successful futures here. Students can apply their strengths, stretch their creativity, adapt to a team, face real-world challenges, think critically, succeed and fail all in a fun, safe environment benefiting them in ways beyond measure. The classroom and your office can serve as the same environment.

How can you get involved? Reach out to your local Intermediary to explore opportunities within your school district ( Bring educators to you through their “Educator in the Workplace” program – of which ABI is a proud partner. This allows you to showcase your company directly to an educator who, in turn, receives on-the-job experience to better equip his/her students for your workplace. It’s a win-win! 

You can also join us at Business Horizons as a guest/volunteer to see students in action, and if you know a student (grades 9-12), encourage them to attend Business Horizons, July 17-21 at Central College in Pella. Learn more and nominate students at