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The Importance of Education on Our Community’s Future
October 2013

This month’s message can be summed up in one word: Education.

From preparing for school readiness to ensuring high-school graduation; from attaining a higher degree to retraining for a new career; and from technical training to a commitment to life-long learning, education affects us, our workplace and our community every second of every day.

But you already know that. And you also likely know that there are legions of people in Lancaster County that work every day to make sure our education system is working. But we all know, we can do better.

Now, I have no illusions that I can do this topic justice in the few minutes of this video, so rather I would just like to lift up a few opportunities where you can explore the issue further and see how the business community can be part of the solution.

First up is our Pathways to Gold Collar Career Night, scheduled for Wednesday, November 6 from 5 – 8:00 p.m. at the Farm and Home Center. The annual event, co-hosted with the Workforce Investment Board and the Career & Technology Center, is a chance for local companies in the trade and technology sector to showcase their industry offerings and career paths to area 8th – 10th grade students, parents and educators. There simply is no better way to make sure our home-grown future workforce is made aware of the many home-grown employment options in Lancaster County. Whether you are a company we can help or a parent who wants to introduce a child to local opportunity, I urge you to check out this program. Contact The Chamber for more information.

The second slice of education-related programming we are offering can be found at our Annual State of the County luncheon on Monday, November 18, from 11:30 – 1:00 at the Double Tree. Although this event will review a host of what we call our County’s “Prosperity Indicators,” this year’s program will also afford you the chance to go beyond the statistics and share your reality on any number of issues, among them education. From educational attainment to the quality of the skilled workforce, we want to hear from you as we look to make positive change in the areas that concern you the most.

A third opportunity affords you the chance to put your money where your mouth is regarding education, through this year’s second annual ExtraOrdinary Give, sponsored by the Lancaster County Community Foundation. The 24-hour event, taking place the entire day of Friday, November 22, offers opportunities to give on-line to the charity of your choice –inclusive of many dealing with a broad-range of education issues. Among them this year is the Foundation of The Lancaster Chamber, a foundation dedicated to promoting education and professional development for the betterment of the Lancaster County business community.

I acknowledged up front that I was, at best able to scratch the surface on this issue in the time provided. Suffice it to say, there are many, many….many other ways you can help the cause of education in our community and I invite you to explore them all.

An educated workforce simply cannot be left to chance. We all have a role to play to ensure continued success for our community and, as importantly, our future workforce.

In the meantime, I hope to see you all at this year’s Chamber Expo where thinking local will be the phrase of the day. And, speaking of being local, here’s a word from this month’s sponsor…..

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