Vo-ag important for Fairfield’s future
To the editor:
I applaud the community-wide effort to support those who graduate from our area schools to settle in Jefferson County when it's time to raise their families. This effort attracts other young people to come to Jefferson County to establish their home.
Seeing the struggle the Fairfield Community School District’s board of directors went through when its vo-ag teacher opted out of her contract for next year, I realize that it's time to revisit the effort once more but with a new target in mind. I suggest we join together to increase enrollment in our local schools to measure our effectiveness in drawing young families to Fairfield and Jefferson County.
Business education is already lively in our community. Diane Goudy, our business teacher at Fairfield High School, has done a stellar job at introducing students to business, business leadership and entrepreneurship. MUM students continually win awards for their business ideas while developing plans for small entrepreneurial efforts. The Bonnell Project gives those learning about starting and running entrepreneurial ventures a business incubator with a commercial kitchen and business spaces and volunteer mentors. The recently formed investors group seeks to give financial support to budding entrepreneurs.
Starting local business is just one piece of the puzzle to bring more youth to raise their families in Jefferson County. Those just starting out need a good income with salaries and wages high enough not just to survive but to save for home ownership, college for their kids and for retirement. We need to have fun places for the kids as well as affordable quality housing.
While we can always feel gratification when businesses take off and hire new employees, we must ask ourselves, "Are we really achieving our goals?" The best way to know we are meeting our goals is to see our school populations strengthen and grow.
– Jo Ann Crouch, Fairfield