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President's Message

September 2023

From the Business Perspective Newsletter

Our #1 asset

Classrooms across the region are abuzz again.

Little ones are bright-eyed with wonder as the mysteries of reading and math unfold for them. Many make friends they’ll keep for a lifetime. Teens – and adults, too – chart paths that will shape their life’s work. Back-to-school season is a critical time for students entering the classroom, but it’s also important for the rest of us.

Numerous communities nationally claim to have the “best” schools. In Johnson County, this isn’t an idle boast. We’ve long known our K-12 districts are a critical ingredient in the secret sauce of Johnson County’s success. No family moves, or stays, if a public school system doesn’t provide the best opportunities for their children’s future. Businesses locate in communities whose educational infrastructure supports the families they employ AND provide an educated workforce pipeline for their future.

Fortunately for us, we have this. But it’s not due to luck. It’s intentional.

For decades, our communities have invested in the infrastructure necessary to provide the best public education for our kids and future workforce. We’ve done that by electing thoughtful and visionary school board representatives who then hired committed professional staff to handle the administration of our districts and the education of kids. Our electorate also has approved bond issues necessary to invest in the capital infrastructure to support the growth of our community and provide the facilities, safety and technology needed for daily instruction of our students.

The beginning of the school year is the perfect time to assess your engagement with our schools. Our districts have numerous ways for businesses to partner. Each has an education foundation you can financially support to enhance resources for our educators and their classrooms. You can also contact our Chamber’s talent team if you’d like to pursue deeper connections through real-world learning opportunities. Andrew and Courtney will make it easy for you to find an education partnership that will be rewarding for you and for the student you work with. Contact them at and You’ll add significantly to the student’s learning experience by sharing your expertise, and at the same time, you’ll help students learn more about the great career opportunities our region offers. These students are our future – help us recruit them to stay!

Oltjen-Tracey for column

written by

Tracey Osborne Oltjen, CCE, IOM

President & CEO