Message from the National Director
In order for America to maintain its competitive edge in a global marketplace, it is critical that business leaders across the country add their voices to issues that directly affect their companies’ bottom lines. Rigorous research continues to confirm that one of the most effective ways to strengthen businesses – today and tomorrow – and build a foundation for sustained economic security is through proven investments in children and youth.
America’s Edge members support initiatives that address all aspects of kids’ lives from birth through age 18. In 2013, America’s Edge is actively working in twelve states and focusing on two policy areas in particular: a) strengthening businesses and the economy through investments in quality early care and education; and b) ensuring a more skilled and better educated workforce through innovative high school education models.
Research demonstrates that the foundation for the skills businesses need their future employees to have is developed during a child’s earliest years – from birth through age five. Investments in early learning provide a strong economic return in the short-term, generating immediate increases in sales of local goods and services that are as good or better than investments in almost every other economic sector. These programs also contribute to our country’s economic growth by ensuring a future workforce with the skills businesses need in a global market. And the investment will pay for itself over time with a rate of return of up to $16 for every $1 spent.
America’s Edge business leaders also know we must make public education relevant to the world of work by fully preparing students for higher education and solid careers. To help make that happen, America’s Edge members are supporting programs such as career-themed models in high schools that integrate career relevance instruction with rigorous academics, creating pathways between high school, further education and the workplace.
We understand how busy our America’s Edge members are and work closely with them to ensure we maximize their voices with a minimal amount of their time. Policy-makers listen closely to these powerful advocates because business leaders’ knowledge and input is vital to making the right policy choices for our businesses, communities and children.
I look forward to working with our members as they work to strengthen their businesses and our economy through proven investments in kids.
Susan L. Gates