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Success School — A Business, Education and Community Initiative

Join Cathi Hight and Christopher Emge, Principal of the Success School, as they talk about this innovative program and its impact on talent retention.

In an era of limited capital, doing more with less, is public education the right strategy?

    • What is public schools’ role in economic development and enhancing quality of life?
    • Why does volunteering in schools benefit businesses and the workforce?
    • How can K-12 initiatives increase engagement among members, residents, and community partners?

The Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce’s (GBCC) motto is “better business, better community”. This happens when community and business stakeholders live, learn, invest, and work collaboratively toward common goals. Public education is a two-way relationship: Businesses depend on public education to build a workforce pipeline and schools depend on businesses for revenue and jobs for graduates.

The GBCC’s Success School is the convener of these two sectors. Its mission over the last 25 years is to help provide real-world learning opportunities for students to increase academic engagement and excite young people about future careers to help share tomorrow’s workforce. The Success School facilitates partnerships and programs between education and business to produce graduates that are life-ready by learning job skills, entrepreneurship, soft skills, and personal financial literacy.

Attracting, engaging, and retaining investors requires member-based organizations to focus on motivations to engage and produce real outcomes. Learn how the the Success School has helped the GBCC to be essential to its community and its investors.

How can you be the essential catalyst for your community?

Success School | Webinar | Hight Performance Group


  • 1

    Explore the history of the GBCC’s Success School, how it has evolved into 5 key areas today, its accomplishments, and setbacks

  • 2

    Reveal Success School’s programming and potential going forward.

  • 3

    Discover how the Success School has redefined itself during the pandemic.

Guest Speaker

Christopher J Emge, M.P.A., Principal of the Success School, a program of the Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

In his position, Christopher has worked on issues related to workforce development and talent retention in the area. This has included building a partnership based outside of the two local school districts and higher education. Solidifying relations with the local financial institutions, employment agencies and new co-workspace have broadened the reach of the Success School.

For talent retention, the key is to focus on targeting demographics that are hard for the area to secure. In Monroe County, young professionals are the “at risk” demographic group and Christopher has built Young Professionals Bloomington (YPB) as a hub to connect them to the joys of Bloomington/Monroe County living. This has been done through diverse programming offerings that provide connections for YPBs to plant roots in the community.

With over 20 years of public and non-profit experience, Christopher has worked in many sectors including, K-12 program evaluation, energy savings, affordable housing, public health, youth development, and economic development. He is currently a member of the City of Bloomington Parking Commission and an advisor for the Indiana University School of Public Administration Fellowship program. Christopher is a past recipient of the Arizona State University’s Social Embeddedness Award.

A Promoter of “Good Change”

Cathi Hight, is President of the Hight Performance Group, an organizational development firm that helps develop healthy organizations to manage constant change, enhance customer loyalty and “work smarter, not harder.” She has over 20 years of experience in working with education, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, nonprofit, and technology sectors.

As a certified Wiley Workplace Solutions Partner, Cathi works with organizations to develop high performing teams, effective leaders and productive work environments.

With more than 20 years’ experience in performance improvement, Cathi helps clients identify their real problems and solve them. She shares Kaizen principles of continuous improvement, making small and incremental changes, and improving customer experiences which bring about “good change” for internal and external customers.

Cathi is the author of The Member Retention Kit and A New Approach to Tiered Membership, and the Work Smarter, Not Harder program. Hight Performance Group offers resources to help organizations attract, engage, and retain members. Cathi helps organizations stay relevant, deliver benefits that members appreciate, and effectively communicate the value of membership with proven strategies that will save you time and increase your bottom line.

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