The Consortium for Public Education works with faculty partners in more than 30 high schools and vocational schools to organize and support our TFIM teams. TFIM participation begins in ninth grade and is encouraged through graduation. Participants perform three projects annually, one individually and two in teams. The projects create business and professional connections and require students to engage their peers, younger students and, often, the wider community.
The Consortium supports and augments school and field activities with quarterly planning sessions and an annual, two-day Student Leadership Conference that includes employer site visits, speakers, college and career-related workshops and opportunities to present projects.
Among other benefits to students, TFIM promotes:
- Deeper academic engagement that comes from connecting classroom lessons to “real world” work;
- Critical thinking and problem-solving skills that come from project-based learning;
- Soft skills – from leadership and communication to collaboration and organization – that come from team participation and working among others with diverse ideas and backgrounds;
- A sense of purpose, belonging and direction that comes from team-based collaboration, particularly for students who don’t find a place or passion in sports, music and other school activities;
- Greater awareness of the region’s post-secondary education, training and employment opportunities;
- Training for job search, resume preparation and interviews.
TFIM’s benefits also extend to employers by:
- Enhancing youth awareness of the region’s opportunities for post-secondary education, training and employment;
- Enriching the pool of potential job candidates with the “soft skills” many employers find lacking in young applicants, as well as technical competencies for project research, organization, documentation and presentation.