All students in the Dacula area will benefit from new technology that will enable them to compete for -- and win -- the jobs of the 21st century, if voters on Nov. 8 extend the penny sales tax for education.
In addition, the skills students develop will attract more high tech jobs to Gwinnett County. That’s because employers flock to communities with residents who have the skills and comfort levels necessary to work with technology.
“Jobs are going to come to Gwinnett County because of the school system, because of the technological development of the workforce in Gwinnett County,” said Sean Murphy, co-chair of the Gwinnett Kids Count campaign.
Murphy would know about such things. He opened his high-tech business here.
Murphy and three partners founded Canvas Systems in a hotel room in Norcross in 1998. More than 500 jobs were created, Murphy said. Today, Canvas serves more than 6,000 customers worldwide from sites in the U.S. and three other countries. Canvas is the leading supplier of refurbished or used IT hardware, and support.
Meanwhile, the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce is aggressively courting businesses that specialize in high tech and bioscience products.
These firms will hire workers and managers who have the problem-solving skills and comfort level with technology that Gwinnett students will gain from the technology component the school system will install in schools that serve the Dacula community.
Just last summer, the chamber signed an agreement with the WuHan (China) National Bio-Industry Base. It’s best know as Biolake, and it is the largest manufacturing and R&D base of optical products, optoelectronic communication technology and laser industry in China.
The memorandum of understanding aims to bolster business relationships that will result in investment and trade opportunities between the business regions represented by the Gwinnett chamber and Biolake.
The chamber also established its first international economic development office in Wuxi, China, last year. The staff is charged with expanding business opportunities between Gwinnett businesses and their Wuxi counterparts.
Murphy looks at his own business and can see the trajectory of growth that’s possible for high tech firms in Gwinnett. Much of that potential growth will rely on the skill sets and knowledge level of students as they graduate from high school and either go straight into the work force or go on for more education.
“Students in the 21st century are going to need different skills from the ones they did in the 20th century,” Murphy said.
“When employers look at where they want to relocate, one of the key issues is the quality of the school system,” Murphy said. “The school system is going to bring employers here, and they will bring jobs with them.”