BRAC Announces Virtual Schoolhouse Platform

Website brings businesses into classrooms


Baton Rouge, LA (September 1, 2016) – The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) today announced the launch of BRAC’s Virtual Schoolhouse, an online platform to pair businesses with classrooms based on teacher-provided lesson plans and industry-offered expertise.

“There is no better way to ensure a qualified pipeline of local talent than for businesses to actively engage in education,” said Adam Knapp, president and CEO of BRAC. “The Virtual Schoolhouse offers tremendous potential to enhance both quality workforce and relevant student learning.”

BRAC partnered with Nepris, a leader in virtual business engagement, to develop the robust platform, through which business leaders can volunteer as guest speakers, project panelists, and mentors, and offer virtual internships for public school students in the Capital Region.  

The opportunity for in-classroom volunteering is also facilitated through the platform, which matches members of the business community to participating classrooms via keywords, skillset and geographic location.

Liz Smith, BRAC’s director of policy and research, oversees the program. “The Virtual Schoolhouse affords Capital Region students and professionals a unique opportunity to engage,” she said. “Students are able to authentically investigate any occupation or industry they can imagine, while business people are able to directly inform the next generation of workers, and neither the student nor the professional needs to leave their desks to do it.”

Business leaders and educators interested in signing up to participate may do so online at

In addition to hosting the Virtual Schoolhouse, the Nepris platform facilitates connections for BRAC’s Micro-Enterprise Credential, developed in partnership with the Louisiana Department of Education to prepare students to become small business owners and employees. Part of the credentialing requirements stipulate that students present a self-assessment to a business mentor, either in person or virtually. 

More information on BRAC’s Virtual Schoolhouse and the Micro-Enterprise Credential can be found online at

About the Baton Rouge Area Chamber

The Baton Rouge Area Chamber (BRAC) leads economic development in the nine-parish Baton Rouge Area, working to grow jobs and wealth and to improve the business climate and competitiveness in the region. Today, BRAC investors include more than 1,500 small businesses, mid-sized firms, large industry and entrepreneurial startups, as well as individuals and organizations that support business and economic development. In this capacity, BRAC serves as the voice of the business community, providing knowledge, access, services and advocacy. More information is available at     


For more information, contact:  Ansley Zehnder at 225-381-7125 or ansley at brac dot org