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Letter: The future depends on schools

On Tuesday, voters will provide the school district with direction. Our educators must confidently move forward on Wednesday -- even if faced with stretching available dollars within the realities of a poor economy. Voters also have the opportunity to entrust the district with an additional investment. Regardless of the path chosen, we must ask our schools to accept nothing less than complete success in their charge to educate the youth of our community.

Willmar's young people must become exceptional adults. Companies throughout the area depend on our youth to sustain growth planned for the future. The MinnWest Technology Campus is investing in this community because we are confident that Willmar is a place that can attract top young talent searching for rural opportunities, while drawing natives back to the area with positive memories of a childhood filled with parks, lakes and strong educational opportunities. Success will be dependent on the creation of adequate career choices to make life here attractive.

The Willmar school system provides a firm foundation of solid education, and Ridgewater College extends our quality local learning options. New partnerships with the University of Minnesota and MNSCU are also being forged to expand educational options, creating an attractive atmosphere for companies that must be confident of a strong local employee pool before committing to a long-term presence on campus.

Here at MinnWest the phrase, "If you build it, they will come," whispers down the halls of buildings being renovated to house organizations that will provide the wide variety of jobs necessary for diverse families to consider building a life in the area. Our education system must stay strong to support this growth. Regardless of the results of the vote, we're counting on our schools to excel. The future of our community rests in the capable hands of our schools, which have provided excellent results for generations. We proudly employ many past graduates, and seek to create opportunities for the classes yet to come.

Educators, thank you for your dedication -- how can we help?