The Akron Public Schools budget cuts may also have a ripple effect on businesses moving to or expanding in Akron. But Greater Akron Chamber of Commerce President Dan Colantone says the cuts are no surprise to the Akron business community. Colantone tells AkronNewsNow " I dont think there's a business person anywhere in this country that doesn't recognize that education is a challenge at the public school level, and I'm sure in other communities they're being challenged as well."
Colantone says the dwindling tax dollars locally and from the state are big reasons why Akron area businesses started building a relationship with Akron Public Schools a few years ago. " I think its important how we communicate, what we're doing and how we're working in a public-private partnership to improve the success of the schools. There are a lot of businesses that are members of the Chamber, and even not members of the Chamber, that are very active in all the schools, but an increase in participation and focus in the right areas that could make a difference , whether it's in elementary school, middle school, high school, focusing in on the right priorities, could help have an impact on the development of skills and the future workforce," says Colantone.
Listen to Dan Colantone's comments
Dan Colantone says he and other local business leaders recognize that there are still a lot of positive developments in the Akron Public Schools district, despite the budget cuts. " I think there's been quite a bit done to reverse that image. When you look at the STEM Middle School and now working on the STEM High School, you look at a number of efforts that moved forward to build new schools."
Colantone looks for more business partnerships with the Akron school system to help make up for the budget cuts by providing guidance in how Akron students can still be best prepared for the jobs of the future. He says for that reason he doesn't think the budget cuts are reasons for companies to stay away from Akron.