Business and Education
The recent years have been full of governmental and nongovernmental actions to assist in improving many different aspects of private and public education on all levels. Nevertheless the educational impact on business and vice versa appears to be mostly an academic issue. Here is why: when was the last time anyone saw a proposal from business interest groups to improve education? When was the last time national or international representatives of business interest have actively participated in creating and maintaining educational policy?
The first issue that may come to mind would be the question as to why business should have an active interest in education. The answer though obvious has managed to be off table for any sort of serious collaboration. The simple answer is self interest because virtually all businesses require human capital. The more sophisticated, knowledgeable, logical, rational and versatile those employees are, the greater the chance for smoother daily operation which may lead to many other benefits including the ultimate goal of profitability.
The second concern or issue may be the fact that some very large for profit entities have a long history of educational donations and contribution to post secondary educational institutions such as technical universities as well as contribution to particular departments within the universities. However, this approach is not only short sighted, it is plainly inadequate. It is obvious that contribution to universities in order to fund research has a great deal of potential for profitability, yet the underserved demographics such as blue color workers as well as employees in low paying service and fast food industry are equally important segments of work force. They contribute a great deal to our economy yet remain untargeted for educational measures that may assist in increasing their effectiveness and efficiency.
Overall, we are not suggesting that business entities reverse course and start contributing to K1-12 rather than taking additional active roles in forming educational policy, changing or enhancing curriculum requirements, contributing financial or other assets to enhance local, regional and national ability to educate our future work force as well as effectively publicizing the needs and requirements of their particular industries. Such measures may not only enable policy makers to formulate better and more effective policies, but also may assist in sparking interests of those students to pursue previously unknown fields or discipline.
Ultimately, it is not farfetched to suggest that business and its interest representative have a long way to go in harvesting the greatest effective and efficient workforce. It is in their interest as well as a social responsibility to promote educational growth and availability that will not only serve us as a nation but assist in assuring a competitive, educated and able work force that can and will be able to compete in the global economy.
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