Education and Community

Economic opportunity is not evenly distributed throughout Alachua County.

When compared to the the west side, East Alachua County residents have fewer employment opportunities, lower performing schools, and less frequent public transit service. Community members have expressed a strong desire to address these inequities through opportunities created by Envision Alachua.

Envision Alachua will:

  • Ensure existing schools benefit from the new jobs center and its residents by ensuring that existing schools are at capacity before building new ones
  • Protect the rural nature of our County’s small communities, while providing access to job centers, goods, services and healthcare that support a vibrant community and are not available today
  • Encourage infill growth in East Gainesville and Hawthorne
  • Attract advanced manufacturing and agricultural related jobs, many of which require only a high school diploma or some specific training, overcoming jobs competition that residents face with college students
  • Help prepare workers—from the G.E.D. to the Ph.D.—to be employed
  • Be measured regularly to ensure Envision Alachua meets its vision and goals

East County Educators Committee

The East County Educators Committee was formed with the goal of taking a strategic approach to addressing preparation and awareness issues so that youth are ready for the new job opportunities created by Envision Alachua. The committee is comprised of current and retired education professionals with a focus on quality K-12 education and improving student performance, particularly within the African American community. This committee’s purpose is to discuss issues, challenges and recommendations which will be shared with other community groups addressing this education preparation and job training effort as a whole, inclusive of Innovation Gainesville, CareerSource North Central Florida, Santa Fe College and Alachua County Public Schools. For more information on this initiative, see the East County Educators Committee page.

Envision Alachua Education Forum

The efforts of the East County Educators Committee resulted in an Education Forum on “Preparing Our Youth for Future Opportunities: Our Shared Responsibility" held on October 1, 2014. Local education and economic development leaders along with participating members of the community provided input for solutions. The outcome of the forum is an Action Plan that the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce will use in its community compact initiative to support the education system from pre-K to 12th grade. This effort, where a community supporting the economic development process with an improved and aligned education process to ensure a greater chance of employment post-high school for the community’s children, is highly unique.

Below are materials from the Education Forum.

Alachua County Education Compact

On May 18, 2015, more than 20 of the region's business, government, community and education leaders signed the Alachua County Education Compact. The Compact is a collaborative of Alachua County’s education institutions, business, government, philanthropy, parents and families, community-based organizations and workforce development working to create systemic change that better prepares students for higher education and sustainable careers. It is modeled after a similar effort in Los Angeles known as the L.A. Compact. Signatories commit to regularly measuring the Compact’s progress in pursuit of six overarching goals:

1) All students graduate from high school
2) All students have access to and are prepared for college and career success
3) All students have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers
4) All students develop an appreciation for the arts
5) All students develop healthy lifestyle habits
6) All students develop a sense of social responsibility

Envision Alachua ran an ad to thank those community leaders for their steadfast commitment to transforming education in Alachua County. (Click on the image below for a larger version.)

For more details on the Compact signing event, see this article published in the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce e-Journal.



related videos

University of Florida Student Presentations

University of Florida Student Presentations, Innovations in Community Design and Agricultural Urbanism, January 26, 2012

Robert Segar Video – Part 1

West Village, A University Community, Robert Segar, Assistant Vice Chancellor, Campus Planning and Community Resources, University of California Davis
Part 1 | Part 2

Education Forum-Part 1

Envision Alachua Education Forum, “Preparing Our Youth for Future Opportunities: Our Shared Responsibility,” October 1, 2014
Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5