|In 2008, BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 in a collaborative effort with Northeast Intermediate Unit 19, launched an online learning service for member districts. This service, VLINC, allows students to remain enrolled in their home school district while participating in online classes on a part-time or full-time basis.
One of our region's primary issues is the loss of our best and brightest educated youth to other areas with larger population and more economic diversity. Action is required to prevent the further outmigration of our area's youth, and we have identified enhanced entrepreneurial education as a possible solution to this problem.
In October 2010, BLaST initiated development of an online entrepreneurial education program for high school students. The Entrepreneurial Youth Experience (EYE) will provide students with (1) entrepreneurship education, (2) mentoring, (3) research and development resources, and (4) start-up financial assistance (pending success in securing a sustainable funding source). By delivering the EYE program through VLINC, students will gain firsthand knowledge of the benefits to their region, thus enhancing their desire to remain in the region, to help build better local communities and economies all while working to attain their unique personal and professional goals.