Education Creates Economic DevelopmentCategories: Mayor's Blog
The critical relationship between education and economic development has been widely researched, and what has been determined is that there is a direct link between public schools and community colleges, and state and local economies. In fact, research indicates that quality school systems can help make states and localities more economically competitive and generate additional jobs.
On an ongoing basis, the Kannapolis City Council evaluates how to best attract businesses to our community. Not surprisingly, research and anecdotal evidence suggests that businesses seek an existing educated workforce, or the ability to draw such a workforce to their chosen location. Schools, including community colleges play a part in attracting and establishing a qualified workforce.
In Kannapolis, as well as all over Cabarrus County we have established programs in our middle schools and high schools that prepare our students to join our highly skilled workforce. Our students that concentrate in a Career and Technical Education area, such as science and advanced manufacturing are better prepared for the further education and advanced training required to be successful in today’s business environment. To develop these unique programs, our team of educators’ partner with business and industry and other postsecondary institutions to ensure Career and Technical Education serves the needs of individual students and businesses in our community.
Research conducted by the University Economic Development Association found that higher education institutions advance innovation through knowledge creation that yields tangible economic benefits. These institutions help employers prosper and grow by offering worker training, management counseling and support of start-ups. But most importantly, universities and colleges create an educated population, which can be utilized to advance business on a local, state, regional or national level.
Our community is also home to Rowan-Cabarrus Community College (RCCC), which offers market-focused continuing education customized to meet specific educational and workforce needs. RCCC also provides seminars and courses to small business owners through its Small Business Center. Here individuals can learn about starting a small business, and marketing and successfully running their company.
Rowan-Cabarrus Community College is a great example of one way colleges are creating an educated population. Through their Cooperative Education program, RCCC offers students the opportunity to gain advanced education and hands on experience in several key areas, including automotive systems technology, industrial engineering and mechanical engineering. This program is very beneficial to students, but it has been extremely valuable to employers and their recruitment efforts.
In Kannapolis, we’re proud of our educational resources and will work to continue to meet the educational demands of our community, current industry, and businesses looking to relocate here.