Economic planning is long term, but really, planning for our children to enter the workforce isn’t that long term at all. It is just upon us. Our children are our future. (There’s a reason that’s a cliche.) We heard strongly in the community input sessions that youth development was needed. We heard great desire to implement programs in engineering and/or the arts… to go beyond sports (and to also do sports well). We heard a desire to help make our children not only successful but fond of York and to make each be a possible candidate for being a productive citizen of York, even as they are people who perceive that they could choose to move anywhere.
There are all kinds of activities and initiatives that we need to be doing for our children. We need to be hugely supportive of our schools – celebrating achievements, contributing to the success of programs and positive work being done. We need to organize a volunteer effort, as there is great desire from adults and youth to participate. We need increased positive youth activity through existing and new programs, as well as existing and new facilities. We need to nurture and transition such engagement from the youth into life-skills and workforce training through the high school and into adulthood.
These are just examples of work to be done. But focusing on the positive development of our children, with particular focus on those most in need, is the right investment morally as well as economically. And it needs to begin in earnest immediately.