Irwindale Chamber of Commerce
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Business Matters - The Value of Education
by Marlene Carney on May 8th, 2014

Business Matters
By Marlene Carney
President/CEO, Irwindale Chamber
One of the biggest challenges facing the U.S. today is the continued need for entrepreneurs, job creation and a skilled and educated workforce.  In today’s global economy, it will be the countries that can produce these three things that will lead the world. 

“The Coming Jobs War” by Jim Clifton provides a hard-hitting study of what the United States needs to address in order to remain a global economic leader. This must read book highlights the fact that the United State is losing its position as a world economic leader.  Countries like China, Brazil and India are moving forward as world leaders based on the findings from the Gallup World Poll. 

Jim Clifton raises a few key points in his book which was published in 2011 that we all need to pay attention to:
  •  “Thirty million Americans are unemployed or underemployed — in other words, 30 million Americans don’t have a good job.
  • Of those 30 million, 18 million people report that they have no hope of finding a job; many of them also have no hope of paying the mortgage, feeding their children or buying gas for the car to get to a job interview — and they have no reason to think things will change.
  • America needs five million new good jobs right now and a minimum of 10 million new good jobs, net gained, within five years.
  • Almost all new jobs are created by startups and small and medium-sized companies.
  • Student graduation is one of the most definitive predictors of a city’s future innovation, entrepreneurship and subsequent job and GDP growth.”

At the recent Irwindale Chamber’s State of the City, we were all impressed by Casey La who spoke to the audience and reaffirmed his appreciation for the scholarship he received from the Irwindale Educational Foundation (IEF).  We applaud him as he is now attending UCLA.  Hearing him moved the audience and reminded us of the importance of the IEF and the role it plays in producing an educated youth who will one day be part of America’s economic future.
Since 1989, the Irwindale Educational Foundation, an IRS 501(c)(3)-recognized charitable organization, has been granting scholarships to qualified Irwindale residents and businesses to provide them with opportunities for career development. The program offers limited financial assistance for college and vocational students and for continuing students making good academic progress.  Scholarship grants are available to current Irwindale residents and to employees of qualified Irwindale Chamber of Commerce members including their spouses and dependents.   All applicants, to be considered for scholarships, must maintain a minimum 2.0 (cumulative) grade point average.

Since 2002, the Irwindale Educational Foundation has been able to provide approximately $380,000 in scholarships to over 250 deserving students in the Irwindale community.  Our goal in 2014 is to raise $40,000 plus for scholarships.

​On Sunday, June 22, the IEF will present “A Day at the Races” at Santa Anita Park.  It will be a great family event which will include trackside viewing from the infield area; lunch, raffle prizes and 50/50, fun activities for children and parking.  All for only $30 for adults and $10 for guests that are 17 and under. 

A private event “Club 40” will be held on July 18 at the exclusive MillerCoors Pub.  A Sponsorship is required to be part of Club 40.   Sponsorships range from $500 to $5,000 and are 100% tax deductible. Education is a key component of a successful country.  The youth in our region deserve to have an excellent and relevant educational experience that results in a good job.  Irwindale, the county, the State and the country will succeed because business leaders continue to step up and partner with education.  And that is why business matters. 

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