Area businesses are partnering with Prince William County schools to provide insight into the working world to students -- and to receive help from students in return.

"The benefits are many," said Katherine Waters, president of the Prince William Regional Chamber of Commerce.

"It's intended to be mutually beneficial."

The Partnership Prince William program was created earlier this year, and a formal partnership was drawn up among the regional chamber, the Prince William County Public Schools Education Foundation and Prince William County Public Schools.

Waters said that businesses can provide a "true workplace experience for the students, whether that ends up being their career area or not."

Students, in turn, can provide what the business finds helpful -- anything from artwork to administrative help, she said.

Mike Campbell, the Partnership Prince William administrator, said in a memo to community business leaders that becoming involved in the program will attract their future employees.

Waters also said the program will make students aware of their own business community.

"Once they go to college, we hope they will still be thinking about their own community" and the business opportunities here, she said.

To get more information or to register for the partnership, contact either the chamber office at 703-590-5000, the Education Foundation at 703-365-9209 or check out the Web site at