Education's Impact on Economic Development


Education’s Impact on Economic Development

Passed in November 2006, Prop O is a school classroom, safety and repair measure providing $644 million in funds necessary to address the needs of the 32 campuses in the Sweetwater Union High School District (SUHSD).

The fiscal impact of the bond measure to the economically impoverished area is immense. The district is wholly dedicated to maximizing the reinvestment of Prop O bond dollars back into the South Bay communities that have chosen to tax themselves to fund the much-needed modernization of the local schools.

 In addition to the qualified South Bay workforce, Prop O contractors have had the opportunity to meet with local South Bay construction suppliers and vendors, allowing for further bond dollar reinvestment in South Bay. Prop O has a dedicated outreach team that specifically works to create opportunities for local workers to participate on district projects. Among them, networking events between general contractors and subcontractors, as well as the Prop O Employment Expo, where general contractors on the project were available to speak with and accept applications from local construction workers.

Additionally, the SUHSD Board of Trustees laid the ground work for a long term vision of the environmental and economic impact of district facilities by adopting Board Resolution No. 3794, calling for green building practices to be employed where possible during Prop O construction. The district’s adopted resolution and commitment to green building have resulted in California’s largest LEED Gold-certified school district construction program in-design.

The economic impact of the district’s green building efforts will produce increased property values and a platform for the generation of tomorrow to excel. By implementing green features, students will learn first-hand the ways in which these technologies create a more sustainable community. This knowledge will be rooted in the future workforce of South Bay as they understand the importance of energy efficiency.

Dr. Jesus M. Gandara is the superintendent of the Sweetwater Union High School District in California.