GFPS Thanks Our Local Businesses

GFPS Thanks Our Local Businesses

Last Tuesday morning, you may have seen your principal hanging out with a community business leader.  In conjunction with the Great Falls Chamber of Commerce and the GFPS Foundation, we hosted the first ever Business Goes to School Day.  At a “lunch and learn” held after the event, the business leaders provided testimony as to what they had seen.  They were surprised by how things have changed since they were in school.  They admitted to not really knowing what 21st century learning environments look like.  They spoke in admiration of the work you are doing.  And most importantly, they committed to being ambassadors for their public schools.

For many years, your district has recognized the importance of collaborative partnerships with local businesses.  We need their expertise, human resources, and financial support, and they need us to fill the workforce pipeline with educated and skilled graduates.

There are many, many local businesses that support our kids, our community and our future in big and little ways.  Their employees volunteer in our schools.  They support job shadows, internships and pre-apprenticeships.  They supply guest speakers.  They give pumpkins to first graders.  They support fundraisers.  They sponsor events, buy ads in our publications, and the list could go on and on.  I am grateful for each and every way our local businesses support our schools.

I’m also thankful for the taxes they pay.  Local businesses pay income taxes to the State of Montana.  A percentage of those taxes comes back to GFPS via the State’s share of our educational funding.  Our local businesses also pay local property taxes which support our schools via the operational and now bond levies.  The success of local businesses is vital to a strong local tax base.  A healthy business climate is good for future economic development.  A strong collaborative relationship between the businesses and the local schools is a hallmark of growing and robust communities.

To that end, I encourage us all to shop locally this holiday season.  Be sure to identify yourself as a GFPS employee and to thank the local business for their support of public education.  As you walk out the door, I am confident you will feel good about not only finding the perfect gift for all the special people in your life, but also about supporting our business friends and neighbors.  I know our local businesses really appreciate our support, just like we appreciate theirs.  Happy holiday shopping!

Take care.  Be safe.  Stay well.