Higher education cuts are resounding throughout the country. Our universities, community colleges, and continuing education programs cannot handle the growing demand in a time when state budgets and private investment are shrinking. But why should the business community care?
Higher education does not exist solely to train people in a trade. Don't get me wrong: I don't want to be under the knife with a surgeon who does not have a degree! Higher education builds communities in which continuing education is valued. Those who know how to learn will always be able to navigate market upsets and shifts in available jobs.
If you will recall from my blog post "From Expense to Asset: How Layoffs Can Kill Your Organization", people are the most valuable asset in any organization that hopes to thrive in the information age. People need opportunities in growth and development in order to retain their competitive edge and make our businesses, in turn, more competitive. The business community's support of higher education means more resources and better talent in our communities and at our fingertips. And better educated citizens means better communities for the growth and development of all.
When higher education fails, communities fail. When communities fail, they cannot provide the types of citizens needed to work together to pull that community out of a decline. Failed higher education leads to unskilled citizens, which leads to atrophied communities, which leads to struggling small businesses, and the inability of a community to create viable, desirable jobs.
Business leaders and private citizens work together to create a job-growing economy by supporting our higher education institutions.
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