Outdoor recreation is an important part of the Grand Valley’s culture, lifestyle, and economic viability. The Outdoor Recreation Coalition (ORC) was formed to ensure that as our economic impact grows, we continue to serve the community that we rely upon. We owe a lot to the Grand Valley, not only its steadfast commitment of support to our industry but to the folks that continue to support the local businesses and lands that make our coalition so strong. Further, we believe a healthy, thriving community starts with a strong commitment to its future leaders, business owners, and citizens.
Which is why we are endorsing Citizens for School District 51, the campaign supporting the Bond and Mill Levy to repair our schools, equip our kids and give them the tools needed to compete in the 21st Century.
The dynamic new economy has fostered a workforce that is looking for jobs in a place they want to live, play and raise a family. A good school system and modern infrastructure are key metrics potential employees measure when considering whether a community is a good fit. The ORC’s Council is made up of small business owners who experience firsthand the challenges to recruit skilled labor to relocate here.
Our local graduates are at a disadvantage as soon as they enter the workforce:
- Experience - Our kids go to school 18 days less than the national average - an entire year less by the time they graduate.
- Tools for the Job - At a time when digital literacy is critical to their future, our kids go to schools where there is less than 1 computer or tablet for every 3 kids.
- Industry Knowledge - Our kids are learning from textbooks over 20 years old.
- Facilities - Many of our schools are run down and dilapidated.
We must prepare our kids for the workforce by investing in them. The Bond and Mill Levy do just that by addressing all of these issues directly.
As for companies relocating here, over 30% of the Grand Junction Economic Partnership’s current prospects come from within the outdoor recreation industry, many of which are manufacturers. The modern outdoor industry makes use of high-tech materials, innovative design, skilled labor, and modern marketing to succeed, all of which are built upon a foundation of good education. Further, they employ educated, skilled and high-earning employees who contribute positively to our local economy.
The District is not asking for much. The average homeowner will pay less than $10 a month. We already pay some of the lowest property taxes, not just in Colorado, but in the nation; this is an incredibly affordable measure, even for commercial property owners.
As business owners, we are continually investing in our employees with updated training materials, new technology, and equipment. As a community, we must do the same for our children. In fact, it is not just lack of any new investment, our schools have seen more than $40
million in local budget cuts and even more massive cuts from the state over the past decade on top of that. We have an opportunity in November to change that. It’s up to us to give our kids a chance to compete in the real world and succeed. Vote Yes for the Bond and Mill Levy, vote Yes for our future.
Outdoor Recreation Coalition of the Grand Valley