In an announcement three years in the making, an impressive group of community leaders in Alachua County have launched a new effort aimed at better preparing students for life after high school.

The collaborative, called the Alachua County Education Compact, seeks to mobilize the community and facilitate connections between existing efforts to strengthen the talent pipeline between schools, postsecondary institutions and businesses. Leaders in attendance of the launch event were enthusiastic about the future implications of the work.

Dr. W. Ken Fuchs, president of the University of Florida, at the Compact’s launch event

“The Alachua County Education Compact signals our community’s commitment to outcomes now and over the long term that will measurably benefit our kids,” Gainesville Area Chamber President and CEO Tim Giuliani said at the event.

“With the whole system working in unity to improve opportunities, every student can win,” said Jackson Sasser, president of Santa Fe College, who was also in attendance and spoke at the event.

The Compact will facilitate a systemic and holistic approach to improving education outcomes by focusing on areas including K-12, early childhood education, parent education, higher education, workforce development and career preparedness. A Stewardship Committee of signers will identify Compact strategies and accountability measures later this year.

Among the 26 community leaders who signed the Compact were the presidents of the University of Florida and Santa Fe College, five city mayors, the presidents of the local and greater area Chamber of Commerce, the superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools and school board chair, the vice-chair of the regional workforce board, the president of the United Way, the executive director of the education foundation, the county sheriff and City of Gainesville police chief. Those who signed the Compact have committed to being responsible for their organization’s role in the progress and development of the effort and the achievement of its goals.

For more information about the Alachua County Education Compact, or to inquire about becoming a signer, contact the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Vice President of Workforce Development Ian Fletcher. For more information, visit the Chamber’s website for information on the Compact’s focus areas, outcomes and goals.



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