Enhancing interaction between business and education

  • By: Doug Betts, Business/Education Committee Chairman

Fresno lost another batch of local paychecks!  In a recent meeting with local businesses I learned that one of our local adult education institutions recently ran advertisements to hire staff for a new online division they wanted to base in Fresno. The responding applications consisted of a low percentage of bachelor’s degrees. That contributed to the decision to open the operation in Sacramento instead of Fresno. This was an opportunity to have a business bringing money from non-local sources to pay local employees.

Although we have a high unemployment rate, we also have a lack of qualified job candidates. Many jobs go un-filled in Fresno because of the lack of qualified applicants. From my point of view, our community is busy working to stimulate business with short-term measures. I think we have to do that, but if we don’t take measures to implement long-term solutions we will always be scrambling with short-term fixes.

The long-term solutions are for youth and adults to achieve higher levels of education and develop roots in this community. We know we have high-school and college graduates leave the area for a variety of reasons. We call this “Brain Drain”. We need adults and youth to feel a sense of belonging to this community so they will become bread winners and business owners here.

This essentially is the charge of the Business/Education Committee of the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. Our small committee is deeply concerned and seeking ways to engage our community in the long-term solutions. We need more help! We have a very entrepreneurial mindset and support from many public institutions and feel that we can really make a difference. What we need most is to have more business people involved. If you want the Fresno region to have good roads, good communications, good entertainment venues, good emergency services, a dedicated workforce, great schools, high paying jobs and everything else that a strong local economy can provide, then I suggest you come and check us out.

I invite you to come to any meeting at 7:30 a.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at the Fresno Chamber of Commerce. I welcome you to contact me through the Chamber if you would like to discuss your potential involvement. Call (559) 495-4800 or send an email to info@fresnochamber.com.

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