Chamber supports referendum

Published 10:45 am Friday, October 25, 2013

On Sept. 25 the Albert Lea-Freeborn County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors meeting in regular session voted to support the District 241 school operating levy referendum. The referendum request would keep the district’s levy at its current level.

The action to support the referendum states, in part, that the board “supports the referendum in that we want District 241 to continue to give a quality education to our youth in order to develop our future workforce.” This followed a presentation by district officials to the board and the chamber’s governmental affairs committee which recommended support by the board.

Randy Kehr, executive director of the chamber, said the action is “consistent with actions by previous boards of directors in offering support to Albert Lea Area Schools.”

Kehr also said a “properly educated and trained workforce is critical to the success of our local businesses. The solid base provided by Albert Lea Area Schools is the first step in sending our young people out into the workforce.”

Kehr said this first step must be followed by additional education as provided by community colleges such as Riverland and Minnesota’s many four-year institutions. It is projected that by 2020 70 percent of the jobs in Minnesota will require that additional education.

“Without the solid base provided by the K-12 system, a student has great difficulty finding a good paying position,” Kehr said.