Leaders of three organizations — the University of Miami, the Miami Business Forum and the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce — contend an investment in young children can help fuel Florida’s economic revival. Research shows that for every dollar that is invested in the best early childhood education programs, there is a $3 to $18 return. These groups realize that Florida’s economic future depends on having a highly educated workforce and high quality schools to attract new businesses to the region.
Earlier this summer, Enterprise Florida held a well-attended discussion about bringing new international business to the state. Participants, including the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, concluded that the low priority that Florida has placed on education has resulted in a loss of new business. Companies cite it as a reason not to open offices here.
Other business leaders have acknowledged that strong educational programs would help lure new industries to Florida.
Frank Nero, president of Miami-Dade’s economic development agency, the Beacon Council, often says the education system is the region’s biggest weakness when it comes to recruiting new companies and jobs to the county.
The new coalition of business organizations in Miami Dade County has joined to together in order to lobby the legislature on behalf of the children. However, they acknowledge it also makes good business sense. “This is a great opportunity to invest in our children and make them more productive,” Paul Cejas (chairman of the Miami Business Forum) said. “As business people, we have to look at long-term investments, too.” Read the full story in the Miami Herald here.
posted by Christine Bramuchi