It always amazes me how multiple people with the same assignment can come up with so many drastically different results. The teams did a terrific job and I learned something new from every one of them.
One item I had never heard before is that there is a program in Chowchilla state women's prison that allows inmates to learn industrial sewing. One of the groups had received a quote as part of their business plan preparation and was considering actually starting a business and working with women in the program run through the California Joint Venture Program. I went and looked at the website and did not find the information about the sewing program - probably need to call or look harder.
As a class we had a discussion about the reputation of using prison inmate labor. It has a historically bad connotation for most people. One of the stated goals of this program is that inmates have a chance to gain marketable skills and the ability to earn money and create savings for when they leave the prison. We could all relate to that as a good thing. We also thought it might relieve the tedium of being locked up.
I found the class extremely valuable. I now know how to write a business plan and how to plan for the first few years of a business. I noticed this morning as I read the paper that my thinking has changed - noticing things I wouldn't have previously.
Kudos to our teacher, Dr. Connie Ulasewicz, who brought a richness and unexpected (for me) depth to the course content. She is among the best teachers I have ever had. We were all amazed at how much we learned in a 6 day course.