Local entrepreneur taking his talents to area teens

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by OTHELLO RICHARDS & KREM.com

KREM.com

Posted on September 27, 2013 at 11:43 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 10 at 12:42 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. -- A Spokane business man is working on a program to bring more business professionals into children's classrooms. He kicked off the pilot program in Spokane.

The idea is to help kids figure out what they want to be when they grow up.

Tyler Lafferty is co-owner of six businesses. He returned to his alma mater, Mead High School, to give students his perspective on entrepreneurship.

"We try to spark that interest and maybe give them another avenue, something they haven't thought about in the past and give them the confidence and opportunities to be creative, be innovative," said Lee Chambers, a teacher at Mead High School.

Reports show that Spokane County has an unemployment rate of 17% for 20-24 year olds. That is higher than the national average by 8.6%.

"I think we can help lower the unemployment rate for that 18-24 by helping those kids be a lot more directed on what they are interested in," said Tyler Lafferty.

Lafferty started a program to do just that. The website access2experience.com works to bridge the gap between industry and education by bringing more professionals into the classroom. Lafferty said the value is two-fold: it helps spark interest in kids of professions they may have never thought to pursue, and allows educators to tap the minds of working professionals to evaluate the usefulness of their curriculum as it applies in the real world.

Lafferty said the ultimate goal is to get the program to be a statewide platform and then go national.

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