There are all sorts of ways to get kids prepared for life after high school. But what would you do if your school didn’t have a computer science class, and you knew information technology employees would be in high demand in the future?

Machias Memorial High School Principal Brian Leavitt decided to partner with Susan Corbett, CEO of Axiom Technologies, to create a course. Not only will it give students high school credit and teach them valuable skills, it may give them college credit — and a head start on that college degree.

The partnership came about after Leavitt participated in the first Leadership Maine: Education Leaders Experience program in 2012. Run by the Maine Development Foundation, it connected education and business leaders across the state in hopes they would find solutions to some of the state’s most pressing economic problems.

Leavitt and Corbett describe how they created the new program, and 16-year-old student Aaron Mattox talks about how it’s working so far, in this column by Erin Rhoda: Is the public-private partnership something you’d like to see in your community?

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Erin Rhoda

Erin Rhoda is the editor of Maine Focus, a team that conducts journalism investigations and projects at the Bangor Daily News. She also writes for the newspaper, often centering her work on domestic and...