Water Color Wednesday: Education

A deep dive into local education

A deep dive into local education

Have you seen the brand new education website, www.pbcedu.org?

If you haven’t , click on the above link and take a tour of education in Palm Beach County.

The website is the result of a herculean effort by the Business Development Board of Palm Beach County to present a more comprehensive look at education in our community and to overcome old perceptions with a more balanced look at the state of schools pre-K through post graduate.

The idea sprang from a goal setting workshop the BDB board held a few years back in Palm Beach. I was on the board at that time and one of the laments was that perception was lagging reality when it came to Palm Beach schools.

None of the business leaders gathered in the room that day had their heads in the sand—they understood that while progress was being made there were real issues and challenges still to be overcome.

But there was also a strong sentiment that education had evolved in Palm Beach County and that the whole picture was not being captured by either the media or companies looking to locate here.

So over the course of several months, a 40 member BDB committee that included a cross section of business leaders and educators from both public, private and parochial schools began meeting to discuss how to better market and present the true state of education in Palm Beach County.

The public/private partnership resulted in PBCedu.org, an attractive site that enables visitors to see the whole range of educational options and programs available.

The website marks the beginning of the task force’s effort to market and communicate the quality educational opportunities that exist in the county. Additional initiatives include integrating positive educational messages in all economic development marketing materials, creating a system for matching student interns with employers, ensuring that high schools have employers at job fairs from the industry clusters prevalent in Palm Beach County  and continuing to collaborate with CareerSource Palm Beach County and the Education Commission.

“When it comes to education, perception is not reality.  A strong educational system is critical to economic development,” said Kelly Smallridge, President and CEO of the BDB.

The site features mapping capabilities allowing visitors to look at educational options in different parts of the county and videos that bring the programs to life.

People familiar with the history of education in Boca and Delray know that city support for local schools has been very strong.

Delray Beach was one of the first cities to form an Education Board and hire a full time education coordinator.

The city has also spent millions of dollars assisting the district with programs, facilities and the like.

The Boca Chamber’s Golden Bell Foundation is renowned for raising substantial funds to support local schools and its economic development strategies tout higher education and the city’s A-rated public schools.

We urge readers of YourDelrayBoca.com to visit www.PBCedu.org and take a tour. The site is a monumental achievement.



  1. Beth Johnston says

    The Boca Chamber also partners with FAU on a Young Entrepreneurs Academy that teaches 7th-12th graders how to make a job not just take a job. The Chamber’s website, http://www.bocaratonchamber.com has all the information.

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.