Education the key to helping our diverse community
Two of the most striking attributes that shape our region today and will drive it in the future are its highly educated workforce and the immense diversity of the people who call this area home. And these two attributes, if rightly nurtured, will create for all of us the vibrant economy and quality of life that we desire for ourselves and our children.
Maryland is blessed with the largest concentration of highly educated people in the world. This highly educated workforce, helped by institutions such as the Universities at Shady Grove, has made our region a successful knowledge economy with a strong presence in a multitude of high-tech fields such as engineering, nanotechnology, biological and health sciences, information technology and health care. We have invested and continue to invest in education — preschool to post-graduate — and this investment in people is vital to our region’s ongoing success.
But Maryland is also blessed with a growing community of people from around the world who have the courage to seek a better life for themselves and their children as they become active participants in the American Dream. For these newer members of our community our continued investment in education — preschool to post-graduate — is vital to our region’s ongoing success.
At the Universities at Shady Grove, students from approximately 43 different countries are working on a college education to increase their opportunities in the workforce in order to contribute to the vitality of our region.
These opportunities exist in many fields that are looking for highly skilled employees. For instance, Maryland, much like the rest of the nation, is faced with a shortage of health care workers at a time that the demand for health care is increasing. Health care organizations are turning more toward higher education institutions to help meet this workforce demand. Adventist HealthCare has partnered with the Universities at Shady Grove to ensure that their graduates have the necessary knowledge and skills to carry out functions not only at our hospitals, but also at our senior living facilities and home health agencies.
And as the global knowledge economy continues to evolve, education of our diverse workforce will be a key to ensuring that we are winners as we compete on the global stage.
The diversity of our community, combined with the world-class education that our educational institutions offer, brings to our region a unique mix of creativity, insight, energy, risk-taking, understanding and opportunity.
Montgomery County’s future as a vibrant global competitor and an economic engine of Maryland is inextricably linked to the success of our educational institutions — the Universities at Shady Grove, Montgomery County Public Schools, Montgomery College, Columbia Union College and Johns Hopkins University.
I welcome their continued growth and success, because the development of our workforce is the foundation for our continued economic success.
William G. Robertson is president and CEO of Adventist HealthCare and chairman of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board for Maryland.
About This Series This four-part series examines the growth and development of the Universities at Shady Grove and its increasingly important contribution in meeting the higher education and workforce needs of Montgomery County.
OCT. 10: Access and affordability.
OCT. 17: Innovative model.
OCT. 24: Pathway to success.
TODAY: Enriching our economic future.