For many years the Robertson County Chamber of Commerce has provided an avenue for community leaders interested in education to volunteer to make a difference by serving on its Education Committee. Business leaders have worked on education projects ranging from Adopt-A-School in the early 1980s to actively working in 2009 to promote a higher education facility for Robertson County citizens.
As the current Education Committee explored how to become involved in a meaningful way, it became apparent that a strong disconnect exists between the school system and the business community. The school system has been forced to focus significant resources on the No Child Left Behind initiatives adding significant administration time and less teaching time to each teacher’s day. The business community has issues with the potential new employee who is not ready for the work force as a high school graduate and they don’t have a pool of college graduates to hire for specialized and management positions.
The Education Committee served as the incubator for the Robertson County Education Initiative. In 2010, REdI launched and is now an active and unique partnership between the business community and local schools to challenge, support and improve local public education. By challenging school leadership to continue to set high standards and then supporting those efforts, REdI will impact change in our community resulting in increased graduation rates, improved test scores and higher rates of post-secondary education. In addition, REdI will initiate and sustain an ongoing relationship between business and educators about workforce needs and the resources required to meet those needs.
The Chamber of Commerce supports REdI and believes it is imperative to promote broad-based community support for and investment in public education to improve the economic development climate of Robertson County. When business and industry see the school system as a draw, more opportunities for growth and employment at all levels will come to Robertson County. REdI operates under the direction of a volunteer board of directors and a part-time director.
REdI is the umbrella for the Tennessee Scholars program, annual parent surveys to gauge satisfaction with Roberson County schools, and LIFE (Local Industry for Education).
Opportunities are available for serving on the main committee and sub-committees focused on specific areas of work.