Why Are Employers Investing in a NEW Public High School?

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2019 High School Bond Referendum
November 5th, 2019 Vote
Produced by: Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism
Business Talking Points
Why are employers investing in a new high school?
  • There is an urgency to the growth demands for our business.  Business is thriving and the need for increased production and productivity are immense.  Additionally, we have employees who have worked hard for many years and deserve to retire.  The number of people available to replace those talented individuals are not meeting our demand for workers. 
  • Statewide for every 10 job openings, there are 6 people looking for work.  We see similar numbers here in Owatonna.
  • We are competing with three regional centers for employees.  Job seekers are weighing their options.  Attracting talented people to Owatonna is more than offering them great employment opportunities.  They are looking for a high-quality healthcare system, first class educational system, and quality of life amenities (shopping, entertainment, parks, trails). 
  • New recruits to our area understand a community that invests in educational facilities is committed to creating a first-class education system.  A survey conducted by Realtor.com showed that 91 percent of respondents included school boundaries in their decision-making process for choosing a home.
  • Private business contributions to this project provide a savings of $1,200-$1,500 to the average taxpayer over the life of the bond.     
Why Do Facilities Matter?
  • Quality facilities are part of a quality educational system.  Quality facilities give every teacher and every student the best opportunity to teach, learn, provide hands on experiences, and prepare learners for their future.
  • For the families and students who are here today, a new high school provides the highest quality learning experience. 
  • For those looking at our community as a new home, a new high school signals the value our community puts on education through this investment.
  • One out of five home buyers surveyed said they would pay between six and ten percent more for a home – and one out of ten people surveyed stated that they’d go even higher, paying up to 20 percent more for a home with access to the right schools. 
Future Growth
  • There is an importance to this vote on the high school bond referendum that reaches far beyond the present day.  We can point to key investments over the years that have propelled Owatonna and the surrounding area forward to more development, larger population, and higher quality of life.
  • City Purchase of West Hills & surrounding land:  This investment in the 1970’s has now provided opportunity for 40 companies to locate and grow in the industrial park that was part of the West Hills campus.  Thousands of new jobs and millions of dollars of investment by businesses have occurred since that initial investment was made.
  • Construction of the healthcare campus on 26th Street: Mayo Clinic Health System-Owatonna and the Owatonna Hospital-part of Allina Health have created a regional health care facility with their investment in facilities.  The campus has grown to serve 40,000 people annually and is already close to capacity.
  • We need 1,000 new employees as a community today.  That number will be 1,500 in the next two years as we are adding new businesses to the industrial park.   
  • Owatonna has never decreased in population.  We can’t afford to go backwards.  We see the investment in a new high school as one of those critical decisions that will impact our community positively for decades to come.
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