Goal I: Champion Education and Develop Competitive Regional Talent
The Montgomery region has made great strides in improving the quality of public pre-K–12 system. New magnet schools and career academies in Montgomery Public Schools have increased enthusiasm for and trust in public education. However, students “in the middle” – those whose school performance falls in between their high-achieving and lower-performing classmates – continue to be overlooked, and the community as a whole has not supported public education through funding or a positive narrative. To become more competitive, Montgomery’s students must be served by a top-quality continuum of programs reaching all ages – from pre-K through college. Demonstrating a strong public school system will not only improve the quality of the regional labor force, but will also make Montgomery a more attractive place for businesses and families to choose to locate. In order to have a healthy, growing community and tax base, it is critical that the community further develops and maintains the quality of its public school systems.
Additionally, the region’s postsecondary institutions can play a more important role in developing the competitive talent Montgomery needs to attract and retain firms. The flexible degree options, research and development potential, and diverse and expanding academic program offerings can be further leveraged and strengthened in the region’s efforts to build a more competitive workforce. The region must work to develop a talent pipeline viewed as a seamless pre-K–20 system, inclusive of early childhood, primary through high school, postsecondary education and training, and graduate and professional education programs.