To drive better workforce outcomes the Utah business community must engage in policy initiatives that focus on education; such as Prosperity 2020, the largest business-led movement ever assembled in Utah to advance educational investment and innovation. When first adopted, Prosperity 2020 developed many ambitious goals for educative improvement; Utah is now on target to achieve those goals.
What Business is Currently Doing
Businesses are actively involved in education throughout the state and create an environment for teachers and students to thrive. Whether it is through discounts or donations, tuition-assistance or employment opportunities; businesses are impactful in helping teachers and students. Additionally, many local businesses sponsor many programs and scholarships throughout Utah to promote academic achievement in grades K-12, such as the Success in Education Foundation (Keys to Success), Utah Business Week, the Pathways Program, Educator Seminars and DonorsChoose.org.
Why Business is Involved
Local businesses are adamantly involved with education because it is an economic necessity and Utah’s classroom performance is underperforming in many ways. An educated workforce is necessary for efficiency, productivity and innovation. The business community therefore works with education leaders to help set educational standards for meeting employment needs.
One of the chief concerns for employers is the long-term success of their business. With that in mind, employers desire the best and most qualified candidates for employment. Businesses throughout the state recognize the need for an educated workforce to drive innovation and productivity, in turn improving the education system in Utah.
What If Business was not Involved?
As the state economy has grown, so too has the demand for skilled workers.
Boston provides an excellent case study ,showing the impact of business involvement, or the lack thereof, with regards to education and utilizing it as a means for the economic success of a community.
The Boston area is recognized as one of the most active places for business development and economic achievement with a highly educated workforce at its base. Over the past few decades the business community in the Boston area has made significant investments securing the perpetual influx of an educated workforce; recognizing it as the most significant contributing factor for economic success. Students who come from the Boston area have, for decades, been consistently recognized as having received the most distinguished education not only nationwide, but worldwide. This is often attributed to the significant investments made to education by the local business community.
Utah cannot afford to take a chance on education. The business community must continue its Bostonian-like engagement. Ignoring clear education warning signs will lead to economic peril.