Education Relationship, Support Vital to Business

By Belt, Joy Reed | THE JOURNAL RECORD, March 14, 1991 | Go to article overview

Education Relationship, Support Vital to Business


Belt, Joy Reed, THE JOURNAL RECORD


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Business leaders have routinely contributed to their communities by leading campaigns for the arts, scouting, Salvation Army and a host of other civic activities. There now seems to be a real push for business to become involved in education.

The relationship between business and education has never been more important. In our information age, corporations need the availability of improved education and training in order to have an intelligent productive workforce. It seems that the need for strong backs has been replaced by the need for workers who can use computers to weld or operate machinery. Cities are finding that a good public education system and a good vo-tech system are powerful economic development recruitment tools.

There are many ways for companies and individuals to become involved in improving education. It's possible to adopt a school - in fact, most municipalities have a formal adoption program. Individuals can work with Junior Achievement to educate youth in the free enterprise system, sponsor school activities or become a principal for a day. Literacy programs offer an opportunity for almost everyone to become a tutor and a mentor.

Many managers and executives have knowledge and skills that would be extremely valuable in the classroom. Again, there is a wide range of opportunity for involvement. You can teach a class for one hour, conduct a seminar or become adjunct faculty for an entire semester. It's also possible to make your workplace a classroom for fortunate high school or college students by offering internships and part time jobs.

Additional contributions which benefit schools include raising and contributing money, donating equipment and supplies, providing technical assistance in specialized areas, or running for the school board. Schools are struggling to meet increasing demands while becoming more and more strapped for money. Businesses need better trained workers in order to remain competitive. Becoming involved in education makes sense and will contribute to the United States' effort to be a strong international competitor.

QUESTION: One of my key managers is leaving, and I have a bright, young employee who seems to be ready. …

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