C2C Leadership Council Highlight: Joe Salkowski
Each month we are highlighting members of our Leadership Council and showcasing their dedication to our mission of preparing every child for success in school and life, ensuring the economic vitality of our community. This month we are highlighting Leadership Council member Joe Salkowski, the Senior Director of Communications and Public Affairs at Tucson Electric Power.
How did you first become involved with the Cradle to Career Partnership (C2C)?
I wanted to learn more about how C2C is working to improve educational achievement in our local schools. I’ve been involved with campaigns to support the United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona as part of my work at TEP, so I was familiar with C2C at a high level. But joining the Leadership Council has allowed me to see the real vision behind the effort and appreciate the work that our staff is doing every day to help students and teachers overcome obstacles to learning.
Why is it important for businesses and corporations to support education in their communities?
Most businesses recognize that successful schools support a higher quality of life and contribute to a skilled workforce, both by educating future employees and by making our community more attractive to talented workers we’d like to recruit from elsewhere. These factors are even more important to TEP because this community is our only market. Our success is directly linked to the success of the community we serve, which depends in turn on high quality public education.
TEP is a sponsor of United Way’s Business Breakfast, which raises funds to support literacy initiatives in our community. Why is it important to support early-grade literacy?
Early literacy is the single greatest contributor to a student’s long-term success. In addition to supporting learning in other subjects, it provides children with access to new worlds and ideas through writing that can inspire, amaze and reward their growing, curious minds. While some children receive strong support for literacy at home or through high-quality child care, it’s critical that our public schools provide strong early literacy training to help those who might lack those early advantages keep up with everything they’ll be asked to learn as they advance to higher grades and more complex, challenging material.