East County Educators Committee

“In pursuing economic progress...we must seek to attract employers who will hire people from the GED to the Ph.D so our entire community can benefit.”

- Ann Collett, Vice President, Gainesville Council for Economic Outreach & Innovation Gainesville

People want to be prepared to be employed, from the GED to the PhD.

High quality public education is essential to the future success of our young people and the vitality of the region. The Envision Alachua planning process has been a catalyst for collaborative discussions between educators and community leaders about making sure our youth today are prepared for the opportunities of tomorrow.

Through Envision Alachua, the community seeks to attract a wide range of quality jobs employing those at all educational levels.  Numerous economic development studies show that employers value communities with quality schools - it makes it easier to attract and retain the talent they need. Our area boasts some of the best public schools and magnet programs in the U.S. However, it’s essential that all K-12 students are aware of the future employment opportunities, taking advantage of the local quality education now to prepare to be employed in the future.

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 these new opportunities. The Committee specifically discussed these issues within the African American community, where it is seeking to ensure this community is prepared for the future. The Committee seeks to answer the following questions:

  • What are the strengths of K-12 education within Alachua County?
  • What are the impediments to participating in the education process?
  • How does education relate to job readiness and how can we align education with job opportunities?
  • What is needed to get students ready for jobs or workforce education opportunities right after graduation?
  • Who can we partner with to realize these goals?

The East County Educators Committee is comprised of current and retired education professionals with a focus on quality K-12 education and improving student performance. Click here for a roster of members.

Members of this Committee have also participated in the education-to-job-readiness initiative that recently began in Hawthorne in response to the Envision Alachua planning effort, and with Santa Fe College in its ReFocus program. Members will be involved with an initiative through iG, the Gainesville Area of Commerce’s planning effort, where a larger community collaborative process will take place around job readiness.

Envision Alachua is pleased to see all of these various readiness discussions occurring as the community prepares itself for the future.

Materials from East County Educators Committee meetings are posted below.

Meeting #1, April 11, 2013

Meeting #2, August 8, 2013

Meeting #3, February 27, 2014

East County Educators Committee members were key contributors to the Envision Alachua Education Forum, "Preparing Our Youth for Future Opportunities: Our Shared Responsbility," held on October 1, 2014. Below is a summary of the event and the action plan created to identify goals and strategies to increase opportunities for Alachua County youth.