Economic development depends on educational systemSchool systems play a major role in attracting new economic development with new businesses looking for new locations for the growth of the company.
School systems play a major role in attracting new economic development with new businesses looking for new locations for the growth of the company. When a company makes a decision to research a certain location for expansion, the research covers not only the quality of the area and the access for transportation services but what is perceived at a very high level is the quality and the local viewpoint of the school system.
The company’s research looks into the percentage of students graduate from high school, and the percentage of students continuing on to post high school education. This includes not only four-year colleges and universities, but technical and community colleges. This is often a two year program with a school that offers a diploma or a type of degree that enables students to not only have a background for greater potential for employment, but also after completing the first two years with the potential for moving on for a four-year bachelor’s degree.
The company’s research also looks into the ability of high school students successfully employed for either a summer job or a permanent position. When a company is investigating a community for a potential site for a manufacturing plant, a transportation terminal, health facilities, wholesale or retail shops as well as many other types of companies, they will look at the percentages of students dropping out of school, completing high school and their educational plans for future careers.
New companies may not only wish to hire people for an assembly line at a manufacturing plant, but also for a wide variety of other needs. This can include marketing, accounting, transportation and logistics, quality control, customer research and many other functions.
Consequently, the percentage of students graduating from high school, and going on to post high school education, plays an important role for a company in making the decision where to locate, or even the expansion of facilities at their current location.
Companies researching the school district to determine part (if not all) of their reasons for moving into the area include a number of other factors. One of the most important has to do with the school districts overall relationship with the community.
School systems that have positive relationships with the community portray an image that says, “We are here to provide the best possible education for not only the children, but also for the entire community.” It is the goal to have an open and a positive communication with and for the parents, and as mentioned previously, the entire community. This means parents and others can have an open communications and discussions with not only the teaching staffs, but also the entire administration.
This not only provides benefits for the students and their long-term future, but also for having other programs offered by the district, such as a community education systems. The latter includes many types of activities and classes for adults. There are many things that can be offered with community education. The list of classes/courses offered by such programs cover a wide area. Just a few examples include cooking, travel, sewing, writing, and the list is literally unlimited. It is sometimes a surprise for folks to learn what some school districts are providing for community education.
The most important concept that needs to be kept in mind, not only for the benefits of the students and parents, is there needs to be a positive working relation between the individual schools, district as a whole, parents and community as a whole. When there is a positive image about the school systems, it provides an invitation to not only families who may wish to move to the community, but provides a strong base line for economic development. This not only strengthens that community presently, but provides for a strong future for everyone.
There is no doubt about it: A positive image has long-term benefits for one and all.
Patrick C. Dorin is a member of the Superior school board and retired as principal. He has also worked in the railroad industry and has published numerous books.