Students in the William S. Hart Union High School District spent a Friday afternoon at College of the Canyons learning about finances, business ethics and the career options available to them during the 16th annual Connecting to Success program. The Valley Industrial Association-sponsored program connects local juniors and seniors with leaders of the business community for a day of workshops and interactive activities. “More than 100 volunteer mentors from the business community led hundreds of students through role-playing, case studies, group discussions and individual assessments to build workplace professionalism and the ability to influence others as responsible adults,” Hart district spokesman Dave Caldwell said. The morning began at COC’s Performing Arts Center where keynote speaker Dan Williams spoke before students headed to various parts of the campus to meet with business leaders. Beginning with a few hundred students from Valencia High School, Connecting to Success has grown into a program that is replicated in communities across the nation, according to the company’s website. This year’s program is expected to serve more than 2,500 students from all of the local high schools. On Friday, Nov. 2, the college will host another Connecting to Success event for the junior class of Saugus High School, according to the school’s website. Students will be transported to the event by bus, and permission slips are due by Friday, Oct. 26.