Adopt-a-school press conference

Gov. Cox Announces Utah’s Adopt-A-School Program

Kaitlyn Clarke News, Talent Ready Utah

Gov. Spencer J. Cox and Talent Ready Utah, in partnership with the Utah State Board of Education, are pleased to announce the launch of the Utah Adopt-A-School program. Today, the governor issued an invitation to Utah businesses to help support Utah’s K-12 schools and provide access to new opportunities for Utah students.

Utah’s statewide Adopt-A-School initiative, one of the first of its kind in the country, will connect businesses with schools where goals, resources, and needs align. This innovative, collaborative partnership will aid in connecting companies, with resources like volunteer time, equipment, or cash donations, to local schools in need of specific support. The online portal – utahadoptaschool.org – makes it easy to search and sign up, providing a matchmaking service between schools and businesses.

“I believe the primary purpose of education is to help prepare every student to realize their ultimate potential, in whatever career or life path they may choose,” said Gov. Cox. “Many businesses have an incredible desire to be involved and resources available to help our students and teachers. We’re grateful to those who are already doing so much. And, today, we’re asking more Utah businesses to get involved — in whatever way they can — so that every Utah student can receive the best education and preparation possible.”

With Utah Adopt-A-School, businesses have a unique opportunity to utilize Utah’s education system as a tool for workforce development. Students receive world-class opportunities through engagement activities inside and outside the classroom to enhance learning through real-world application. Known by many names, project-based, work-based, or hands-on learning fosters the development of work-ready and professional skills. It also connects young people with business professionals who shape student perceptions and inform future career decisions. 

“Thank you to the countless Utah businesses already engaged in corporate giving and philanthropic work,” said Dan Hemmert, executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity. “Efforts in this space provide blueprints for others to think innovatively about partnering with local Utah schools. Programs including Project Lead the Way, Jordan PREP in partnership with Merit Medical, MarketStar’s Pack the Pantry, and SHINE sponsored by Savage Services represent a small fraction of the impact businesses are making in the lives of Utah students.”

Throughout the state, there are opportunities for businesses to impact the success and growth of students, families, and communities through volunteerism, mentoring, and donations of food, shelter, clothing, and more. As the basic needs of young students are met, we promote achievement in the classroom and remove barriers that distract from success. With a collective effort addressing areas of need within Utah’s schools, particularly in multicultural and rural communities, increased access to opportunities become available to all students.

“Utah has incredible educators who dutifully instruct and lead the young people of our state. It’s been a privilege for our team to support and bolster the important work already taking place in the classroom,” said Derek Adams, chief technology officer of Brainstorm, Inc. “As we look first to meet our education partners where they’re at, we can further the impact our efforts as business partners have on Utah’s youth, its schools and communities.”

Businesses and schools interested in partnering can learn more at utahadoptaschool.org. Education and industry partners can complete an online assessment, which the Talent Ready Utah team will use to bring together partnerships where goals, needs, and resources align.

The Utah Adopt-A-School program advocates for benchmark programs and fosters a community around collaboration, sharing expertise to inspire impactful partnerships serving students in every corner of the state. This platform will host references to established programs and frameworks supporting impact for businesses looking to engage with Utah’s schools and schoolchildren.

To learn more about the Utah Adopt-A-School program, an initiative of Talent Ready Utah powered by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, visit utahadoptaschool.org.