Connecting educators with business leaders to create possibilities for students

WakeEd’s Link program brings businesses together with educators to create possibilities for students. 

Each year, business, nonprofit, and government leaders are paired with Wake County Public Schools. WakeEd collaborates with the Wake County Public School System to match educational needs with business time and talent resources. During focused networking sessions, participants work together to bring innovative classroom and school-wide projects to life – projects that enrich student learning for years to come.

Link was created to help students meet the challenges of a fast-paced, dynamic world.

“If you look at history, innovation doesn’t just come from giving people incentives; it comes from creating environments where their ideas can connect.”

-Steven Johnson | Author, Where Good Ideas Come From and Mind Wide Open

World Cafe

Link evolved from WakeEd’s annual World Cafe event, which paired Wake County educators with businesses for focused networking sessions. Educators participated in two 30-minute rounds of networking with business and community leaders to explore ways to collaborate on classroom or school-wide projects. Four schools also had the opportunity to “pitch” their innovative project ideas to a panel of judges to receive funding.

Link – Spring 2019

WakeEd’s Link program, sponsored by Duke Energy and hosted by LORD Corporation, launched again at the end of January. Several Wake County schools met with local companies to create possibilities for students. Although Link partnerships begin at the launch event, they will continue to make a difference in Wake County classrooms throughout the year. Here’s what Link schools and partners are collaborating on this year:

Brooks Elementary School

The Coder School is linked with Brooks Elementary to help minority students learn modern technologies, gaining skills and confidence both in and out of the classroom, in hopes that this will open doors and create opportunities for their futures. Through this partnership, students will learn skills such as coding, video creation, and engineering, and learn how to apply these skills apply to the real world.


Dillard Drive Middle School

LORD Corporation is partnering with Dillard Drive Middle School to put on “What’s on the Menu Business Lunches,” exposing students to skills, careers, and unique opportunities to taste the business world through a different lens. LORD Corporation continues to support other Career Development Programs at Dillard Drive through their ongoing partnership.


Fox Road Magnet Elementary School

IBM and Fox Road Magnet Elementary School are working together to teach students to embrace creativity, perseverance, and problem-solving skills through learning to code. Through this partnership, IBM will also assist with teacher training, guest speaking engagements, and student mentors to help approximately 450 students learn about a career in coding.


Kingswood Elementary School

Kingswood Elementary School is partnering with the NC Department of Environmental Quality and The Poe Center for Health Education to build upon the environmental literacy culture school-wide. Engaging students in planting/harvesting, along with other activities, will help students understand more about food, along with learning how to prepare food to eat.


Lead Mine Elementary School

AlphaGraphics and LifeTouch are working with Lead Mine Elementary School to create marketing materials to help promote their school to potential families. Together they will capture photographs, create a brochure, build an updated website, and produce a video, all highlighting Lead Mine Elementary.


Longview School

LS3P is linked with Longview School to build an outdoor classroom, giving students and teachers an exceptional space to collaborate and learn. LS3P is assisting in the designing and building of the outdoor learning space.


North Wake College and Career Academy

North Wake College and Career Academy are partnering with Fidelity Investments and Unity Digital to expose students to the career opportunities in the design field, IT and business. Through speaking engagements and industry tours, this partnership builds the problem solving and workforce development of students through relationships developed with businesses in the industry.


Reedy Creek Middle School

Through partnering with ABB & Dude Solutions, Reedy Creek Middle School students will interact with professionals in the technology field, working together on a project through which students will learn, programming, software, and creative technology skills. Such skills are valuable in the workplace, and these partnerships allow students to engage in with the tech-related field in their own community.


Smith Magnet Elementary

Aisymmetry is linked with Smith Magnet Elementary to teach kid-friendly coding in a newly created Introduction to Coding Technology Club. This partnership will allow students to utilize technology to collaboratively solve real-world problems, through learning and completing collaborative coding activities.


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