“Tell me about your Workforce” is always one of the first two questions prospective new businesses ask when they are looking at an area in which to re-locate and/or expand their current operations. A region’s workforce must be ready to fill jobs with skills that are currently undefined, and the only way to do that is for individuals to have a solid educational foundation. Most employers are willing to teach the specific skills needed for their specific industries, but they cannot teach foundational skills like life skills and work ethic; basic writing and reading comprehension; mathematics; the ability to follow directions, etc. Those skills must be taught (and learned) through Arizona’s basic education system. Through a variety of public and private initiatives, Arizona is beginning to implement programs and projects that will provide this foundation for our future. By providing direct input from local businesses to my education partners, I am proud to play a very small part in this very large picture.