And, the future is now. At least it is in our community. Since United Way launched the community school model in 2016, dozens of businesses, individuals and nonprofits have joined together, supporting more than 6,000 students and their families. Partnering with school districts, this growing collaboration is changing the trajectory of our most precious human capital – our children.
I’m proud to say that Team Hardinger is part of a Corporate Partner coalition of businesses that came together to support the launch of the model at Diehl Elementary. As a company, we see first-hand the challenges of recruiting and retaining employees. Talk to almost any business in our community and you’ll find that this is a growing issue, directly impacting not only the bottom line, but the vibrancy of our community.
Joining other forward-thinking businesses, we feel a responsibility to invest in Erie's economic development. Human capital is a critical part of our local economic ecosystem, upstream from the bricks and mortar investment that is visible throughout the City and across the county. While the investment in human capital may not be visible at first, we know that by providing a level-playing field for all children, especially low-income, to be successful in school, the payoff will be a strong ready workforce, stable families and neighborhoods and children pursuing their dreams.
We can all support the youngest in our community through investing in the proven community school model. Whether as a Corporate Partner, Community School Booster or United Way donor, your investment today pays huge dividends tomorrow...and beyond. Together, we can make sure Erie’s future is a vibrant community where all students succeed and all families thrive.
Harold "H" Bender
President, Team Hardinger
Corporate Partner, Diehl Elementary Community School