The following editorial by David Bradley appeared this week in local publications. David is the president of the Greater Statesville Chamber of Commerce, whose membership has passed a resolution supporting the November 4 bond referendum.

There are two bond referendums on the ballot for citizens of Iredell County to consider on November 4. Frankly, it is easy to make a very valid case to support these bonds for our children. They deserve to be educated in safe, updated facilities with resources that will enable them, through the hard work of extraordinary teachers, to compete for jobs in a market that is evolving faster than we can imagine.

My plea is to look beyond just what our children need and deserve today. What do WE as citizens need and deserve 10 years into the future? We need an economic climate in which jobs are plentiful, median family income is sustainable, and we embrace the diversity of our populace. The key foundation to reaching every one of those goals is outstanding education. Charlotte is the 4th fastest growing metropolitan region in the country and the growth is heading our way. How do we attract new commercial, industrial and residential growth without great education? It is critical that we increase our seating capacity in our schools for that growth. I realize that the bond referendum for Iredell-Statesville and Mooresville Graded School Districts are for the construction of buildings. It is incredibly important that we show our children, our current citizens and our prospective citizens that we give more than lip service to the statement, “we support education.”

The bond referendum that will enable Mitchell Community College to build a Health Sciences Building on the main campus is an absolute strategic necessity. Of the top 20 fastest growing business sectors in the country, 11 of them are in health related fields. Mitchell has an incredible reputation for its nursing and other associated programs. This building will enable the program to grow by 50 percent to meet the expanding career opportunities in the area.

Are we bold enough to dream about our future in 10 years? Sure, these two referendums are about adding bricks and mortar to our local educational systems and institutions. My plea is that we consider them an investment in our future. It is perhaps the most important investment Iredell Citizens can make for a brighter tomorrow.