Home > Blog > April 2019 > Greater Akron Leaders Rally Around Early Childhood Education

Greater Akron Leaders Rally Around Early Childhood Education

Friday, April 5, 2019 by Erin Siegferth

Greater Akron Chamber investors, PNC and GOJO Industries, are teaming up to spread the word: early childhood education in America is “No Small Matter.” 

On April 17, Kevin Thompson, Regional President of PNC, and Joe Kanfer, Venturer and Chairman of GOJO Industries, will host a screening of “No Small Matter,” a feature documentary that explores the state of early childhood education in our country.  

We encourage Chamber members to attend the free screening at the Akron-Summit County Public Library.  

RSVP Online by April 10. 

What’s So Important About Early Childhood Education? 

Early childhood education has a huge—and often overlooked—impact on long-term workforce development and the economic development of our region. 

You can’t have a strong Greater Akron region without a strong Greater Akron workforce. But how does the workforce get there? 

Skilled talent either come from outside of Greater Akron or they come from right inside our region’s borders. While it’s important to attract talented professionals from across the country, it would be a shame to neglect the thriving talent that has grown up right here. 

Unfortunately, when early childhood lags behind, we neglect that talent. If future Greater Akron professionals don’t get the quality education they need... 

They are not set up for work or for continuing education that prepares them for the workforce. 

They grow disenchanted with and distrustful of the Greater Akron region, looking elsewhere for work when the time comes. 

All Education is Not Equal 

Socioeconomic learning gaps between young students set economically disadvantaged students up for failure. The gap only grows wider as these children progress through school, leading to lower grades and high dropout rates.  

This is bad for the kids, and bad for our economy. A McKinsey report from 2009 found that “gaps in US educational achievement have affected GDP more severely than have all recessions since the 1970s.”  

What Can be Done?

Chamber members can do something to help Greater Akron’s early childhood education system. 

To start, go to the showing of “No Small Matter.” Then, read about the second Elevate Greater Akron strategy, Opportunity Akron, and consider how your company or organization might be able to contribute to inclusion and education efforts.  

It’s in your best interest. The economic prosperity of the region depends on it. 

Posted: Friday, April 5, 2019 by Erin Siegferth | with 105 comments


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