The Business of Education
It was a chilly day in Washington D.C. but nearly 200 educators, business leaders, and non-profit advocates met at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. This group was gathered to hear more about a report released by College Summit, a nationally recognized nonprofit that increases the number of low-income students enrolling and staying in college. With support from the Citi Foundation the report, “Business Engagement in Education: Key Partners for Improving Student Success,” raises awareness of the critical role the business community plays in partnering with schools to develop America‘s future workforce.
During the two hour luncheon, speakers and a panel discussion dove into all aspects of this topic. Rosemary Byrnes, Program Manager of Citi Foundation, shared personal comments on the importance of workforce education, financial awareness, preparedness and success. Cheryl Oldham, Vice President of the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW) and Lisa Hook, President and CEO of Neustar, Inc., explained how businesses could begin or expand their engagement with schools to strengthen student learning and achievement. J.B. Schramm, founder and CEO of College Summit, spoke about the importance of education and workforce partnerships.
The panel discussed how businesses collaborating with nonprofits can lead to increasing the chances for students to complete high school and successfully transition into postsecondary education and careers. This panel was comprised of, Peter Pruitt (Office Managing Partner, Florida & Puerto Rico, Deloitte), Dr. Pablo Ortiz (Asst. Superintendent, Education Transformation Office, Miami-Dade Public Schools, Paula Harper (Executive Director of Program Development, George Washington Univ.) and Jackie Lynn Coleman (Executive Director, National Community Tax Coalition).
Closing out the luncheon, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) addressed the importance of keeping the middle class thriving though education and reestablishing the American dream with business endorsements.