What are we waiting for?

“I believe talent is the single largest challenge…that business will face in the future,” the director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in a front- page story Sunday.

Indeed, just four months ago Nobel Laureate Economist James Heckman told the same thing to a group of Missouri Business Leaders at a meeting at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

Many economic and social problems—crime, teenage pregnancy, dropping out of high school and poor health conditions—can be trace to low levels of skill, he said.  Our goal should be to increase high school graduation rates, of course. But the best way to do that is to increase not just cognitive skills but also socio-emotional skills…perseverance, attention, motivation and self-confidence.

  • Missouri’s economic development experts recognize that education is critical to building the state’s workforce.
  • World reknown economists agree: early childhood programs offer a outstanding economic returns!

What are we waiting for?