Akron Public Schools embraces partnership with LiUNA Local 894 and opportunities for its students

Akron Public Schools (APS) in Ohio received a hefty contribution from a local labor union, which forged a partnership brokered by DistrictWON that also includes informing students and the community about opportunities that exist in the building and construction trades industry after graduation.

Laborers Local Union No. 894, a chartered affiliate of LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America, AFL-CIO), is headquartered in Akron, Ohio, and represents approximately 1,300 men and women in the building and construction trades industry. LiUNA Local 894 — whose members provide a skilled, in-demand workforce to more than 500 building and heavy highway contractors — recently contributed $7,500 to APS.

“The ultimate goal for APS regarding our students is that they graduate and subsequently enroll into further education, enlist in a service branch of the military, and/or gain employment in the workforce,” said Joseph Vassalotti, coordinator of Secondary Education and Athletics at Akron Public Schools. “Our partnership with LiUNA has certainly increased interest and access to that last goal.”

“Our student athletes, in particular, have been helped by our promotion of skilled trades via LiUNA at contests held in our gyms and stadiums,” Vassalotti explained.

Cedric Sommerville, president of LiUNA Local 894, said because not all students decide to attend community colleges or universities, the union’s partnership with APS allows students the opportunity to learn and become valuable employees of the building and construction trades.

  Through LiUNA Local 894’s messaging at APS games, for example, students learn that “there are other career opportunities and jobs in the construction trades, and that the jobs are good paying jobs, along with benefits and pension funds,” Sommerville said.

In fact, according to LiUNA Local 894 Business Manager Vern Lloyd, jobs in the construction trades provide a livable wage that starts at $21 an hour or more plus benefits on top of their pay, and workers can retire with a nice pension. “You can’t beat that,” he said.

The union is getting a lot of positive feedback from community members who have heard about LiUNA Local 894 and the benefits of the skilled trades industry over the loudspeakers at football games and via the union’s banners, which are displayed on APS stadium walls, added Lloyd.

Sommerville agreed, saying “both students and parents have been extremely receptive, with lots of questions and inquiries regarding our messaging at the games and on banners,” which are all part of its partnership with APS developed through DistrictWON.

“Our support has educated the schools and community, which in turn allows them to get engaged and involved with the building and construction trades,” said Sommerville, adding that it’s always an honor to help the local schools and community.

“We value the future generation of kids, and we want to support them,” he said.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.comhttps://www.facebook.com/districtwon, or follow https://twitter.com/districtwon on Twitter. 

School spirit surges at two Nevada high schools thanks to area businessman’s partnership

Student athletes attending Nevada’s Mineral County High School (MCHS) and Churchill County High School (CCHS) are enjoying stronger school spirit bolstered in part by their newly provided uniforms from an area Farmers Insurance agent, according to athletic administrators and coaches at both schools.

 “We can’t thank Curtis Isom and Farmers Insurance enough for all the support we have received,” said Pete Summerbell, athletic director at MCHS in Hawthorne, Nev. “This support has led to a tremendous surge in our school spirit and given our student athletes a lift in their self-esteem.” And the increased support, Summerbell said, has not gone unnoticed by the entire Serpents community, which has “rallied around the school spirit and have increased our attendance at games.”

 The same is true at CCHS, where girls’ basketball coach Kevin Wickware says “getting new uniforms has brought a sense of pride to our team.”

 Home of the Greenwave in Fallon, Nev., CCHS student athletes usually must wait several years to get a new set of uniforms, said Wickware. “That means our uniforms are usually outdated,” he explained. “But with the help of Curtis, we were able to get updated uniforms and our athletes are grateful for this opportunity and his generosity.” 

 The contributions also have covered crucial needs left unfilled due to local funding gaps at both schools.

 “As budgets for athletics in our school have diminished, Curtis has stepped up and has been a major contributor for all our programs,” said MCHS’s Summerbell.

 For example, via a deal brokered by DistrictWON, Isom supplied the Serpents’ volleyball team and the boys’ basketball team with complete home and away uniforms. Last year, Isom also sponsored a White Out day during an MCHS home game and provided more than 200 T-shirts, as well as uniforms for both the girls’ and boys’ basketball teams “that the student athletes could keep,” Summerbell said. “It was a huge success.”

“We look forward to our partnership with DistrictWON, Farmers Insurance, and Curtis Isom,” said Summerbell. “We can’t thank everyone involved enough.”

At CCHS, Wickware said Isom’s partnership provided new uniforms that enabled the team “to focus our small community-raised funds towards our basketball season.” That meant that the CCHS team could pay for other costs associated with tournament entries, programs, and equipment. “The additional donation that Curtis provides alleviates some of the stress our program has in regards to covering certain costs,” said Wickware. 

Isom, a second-generation Farmers Insurance agent with two offices — one in Fallon, Nev., (Churchill County) and the other in Hawthorne, Nev. (Mineral County) — is honored to be able to support MCHS and CCHS.

“And the fact that my daughter is an athlete at Mineral County High School definitely was an influence on my decision to provide uniforms to these schools,” he said, adding that “Hawthorne and Fallon have been very good to me and my family.”

 As many local businesses do, Isom said he supports a lot of youth events to show that his business is part of the community. But he said the high school programs make his business “stand out from the crowd.”

 “The parents and the kids both will remember where the uniforms came from. And that has helped us become more of a presence in the communities,” said Isom, noting that the DistrictWON partnership is also a win for his company.

 “When I, or someone from my team solicit business in these communities, people usually know my name,” Isom said. “It automatically gets us a warmer reception.”  

 Both MCHS and CCHS are public schools that don’t always have the necessary funding for their athletic departments, added Isom. “In recent years, both schools have had some amazing teams and won state championships. So, it doesn’t really sit well with me to see these same teams doing fundraisers for new uniforms,” he said. “I have personally been thanked by parents, coaches, and kids from both schools for doing this program.” 

 Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.comhttps://www.facebook.com/districtwon, or follow https://twitter.com/districtwon on Twitter. 

Looking good: Buckeye Bucks team up with Medina, Ohio family-owned auto company

The generosity of a local family-owned business partner is so important to Buckeye High School sports and the Medina, Ohio, community, says Buckeye High School Athletic Director Tom Harrington.

“Knowing that we have a community partner like Medina Auto Mall means more positive opportunities for our student-athletes and we could not be more appreciative,” said Harrington.

Medina Auto Mall is owned by the Panteck family, which also owns the Brunswick Auto Mart and multiple other dealerships in Cleveland. Chuck Steward, general manager of Medina Auto Mall, says the company is providing the Buckeye Bucks volleyball, softball, and girls cross country teams with 200 t-shirts and additional funding. 

“Having the opportunities for both uniforms and financial resources allows us to provide a first-class experience for our teams,” Harrington said. “Student-athletes always want to have new gear. We believe in look good, feel good, play good. Medina Auto Mall makes this possible for us and we are so grateful.”

Bucks volleyball coach Kara Joyce agrees, especially after seeing the reaction from the team when Medina Auto Mall donated new uniforms.

“The girls were ecstatic when they realized we got new uniforms,” Joyce said. “The libero and team fought over who got to wear it first.”

Brunswick Auto Mart owners Geoff and Bryan Panteck, who are brothers, explained that the partnership with Buckeye High School benefits both Medina Auto Mall and the school.

“This is our community, our business and where we do business,” Geoff Panteck said. “Buckeye High School is right down the street… and many people in the school district are customers of ours. And we love to promote high school sports — so why not take care of our local schools?”

“It’s just good will for our company,” added Bryan Panteck, “and families want to do business with a company that contributes to their school system.”

The DistrictWON-facilitated partnership between Buckeye High School and Medina Auto Mall has been one of the first opportunities for the company to show its willingness to help and be involved with the Buckeye Bucks, said GM Steward. Medina Auto Mall also has contributed to school fundraisers, he said.

With school districts across the country hard pressed to fund their athletic programs, the chance to develop partnerships between the private sector and high schools can be especially meaningful.

“Families see that businesses like us contribute, give back and promote, all of which helps the school system,” said Geoff Panteck, who noted that, in turn, residents reward the auto company with their patronage.

“Some of these big conglomerate businesses — or if you’re owned by a large public entity — they don’t give back to the community like family-owned businesses and small businesses,” he said. “The people making these types of decisions are sitting 500 miles away and they don’t know a school like Buckeye. But with small businesses like us, people know we give back to our community.”

Steward also said the partnership has really opened up communication between the company and Medina residents. There’s common ground so there’s “a much more personal relationship than someone just coming up to a clerk in a window,” he said.

“We’re happy we’re able to utilize some of our advertising co-op dollars through DistrictWON, which is able to facilitate things that schools like Buckeye could use,” Bryan Panteck said.

And according to Coach Joyce, the Bucks volleyball team and her coaching staff seriously appreciate the support. “We look forward to continuing to look good on the court,” she said. “We cannot thank Medina Auto Mall enough for their support and the new uniforms.”

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.comhttps://www.facebook.com/districtwon, or follow https://twitter.com/districtwon on Twitter. 

Wapakoneta Redskins reap rewards from local Farmers Insurance agent

The athletics director at Wapakoneta High School in Ohio says donations from a local businessman prove that school-corporate partnerships benefit the entire community.

“The support from local business and specifically Alan Davis Insurance has been tremendous, especially during the drop in spectator attendance due to outside factors,” said Wapakoneta High School Athletic Administrator Brad Rex. “Support like this from Alan Davis has helped us to continue to supply our student-athletes with the best opportunities possible.”

As head of the Alan Davis Insurance Agency, a Farmers Insurance agent in Wapakoneta and Minster, Alan Davis has provided the high school with football jerseys and baseball uniforms, as well as t-shirts and additional funding over the last three years, Rex said, adding that “the reaction was overwhelmingly positive.”

“The uniforms have been very well received by the players and the community,” said Rex.

And Davis has been more than happy to help.

“The players loved it,” Davis said. “People thank me for supporting the kids.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had anyone tell me it’s a bad thing,” he joked.

Local business support for schools offers a lot of benefits, added Davis. For instance, when a local company makes a monetary donation or purchases team jerseys or uniforms, then certain costs can be eliminated for players, enabling more students to participate, he said.

At the same time, local business support or event sponsorships can make the entire sporting event more enjoyable for everyone, Davis said, noting that area companies have donated money used to purchase new score boards, pristine fields or courts, and new uniforms, among other items — all of which help enhance the overall sporting experience.

“It brings a community together,” said Davis. “You could rob a bank here on Friday night because everybody is at the football game having a good time.”

Davis also said that Farmers Insurance has supported high school sports for years “because it’s so important to support the local communities we operate in.”

As part of the partnership with Wapakoneta High School, Alan Davis Insurance Agency has for the last three years sponsored the Safe Decisions Program, an annual campaign that emphasizes safe driving and that is publicized through high school events.

Rocky River, Ohio-based DistrictWON creates meaningful brand connections within local communities through marketing partnerships between businesses and high schools. For more information on how to reach high school students, parents and administrators in a way that truly makes a difference in the community, visit https://www.districtwon.com, https://www.facebook.com/districtwon, or follow https://twitter.com/districtwon on Twitter.