EDUCATION COUNTS: Squigley’s Celebrates it’s 20th Anniversary This Year

By / Local Businesses / Wednesday, 24 September 2014 04:00

This year is Squigley’s® 20th anniversary and it’s been another record setting season.  Ann and I want to thank everyone who visited us, including those from over 30 countries, in spite of the other options on the island.  Much of our success is due to our Associates from high school and college. Their “Hello” and “Thank you” go a long way.  Our advertising in 6 different media, 6 ice cream suppliers lead by the #1 US brand, Edy’s, and the #1 NC brand, Maola, help. We employ personable, highly educated/motivated high achievers.  Therefore, when school is “on”, we open late and close early so they can study. Education counts more than earning a few bucks at the expense of their future.
Our good fortune is really unique in light of the dairy industry, the economy, unemployment and the effect of world tensions on shopping habits.  The real ice cream industry has grown almost 2% to over $5.6 billion vs. the frozen yogurt industry, up 0.4%, to only $347 million. Other frozen desserts, not real ice cream, are down almost 6%.  Frozen novelties are down almost 4% while ours are up over 400%.  Smart, educated people are responsible for these achievements. Education counts. The following may be long but it also may have a bearing on the well-being of your family or close friends, please try to read it.
 The economic recovery has still not succeeded, unemployment is really 12% not 6% because of those who have quit looking and depend upon government subsistence, the substitution of part time for full time and therefore under-employing millions of people who really want full time jobs.  World tensions are split between domestic and international war-fears, plus more unemployment/underemployment, real and imagined racial/police/criminal justice inequities along with poverty and politics-before-people.
We continue to ignore the main solution to reduce poverty, unemployment, poor housing, unearned welfare, poorly administered schools, bad teachers and corrupt officials; make EDUCATION the priority! Yes, we increase school budgets but too much of it goes to fancy brick and mortar rather than to yearly EVALUATE/PROMOTE/FIRE teachers and administrators (ir) responsible for their highest objective---preparing students to interact/ understand world events, learn and complete job prerequisite requirements, and to lead an educated life, passing it on to future generations.
 Locally, Carolina Beach Elementary Grade Level Proficiency is 70.8% and, though almost 30 points off, is in the top third of all New Hanover County grade schools! Murray Middle School is 69.7% and 3rd out of 8 middle schools. Ashley High School is 63.8% and 4th out of 7. Notice the trend? What causes the slippage in proficiency as the kids get closer to graduation, enter college, trade/armed services training, or the labor force? Is it teachers, administrators, parents, the attitudes of the kids or all four? Have you, with children, heard what the plans are to improve the grade level proficiency?  Ask.
 TIME© magazine recently had an analysis comparing adult income levels to educational levels and the personal behavior habits of their children. As you read this, remember that statistics don’t apply to everyone equally in any category. There are exceptions.
 The top 5% (earning $200,000+, 99% graduated from high school and 83% from college.  Thirty-one percent of their kids tried drugs by 16, 32% sex by 16, and 11% crime by 24. The next 17% ($100,000-200,000), 99% also graduated from high school and 74% graduated from college. Thirty-three of their kids tried drugs by 16, 41% sex by 16, and 12% crime by 24. The middle parents, 22% of the population, earn between $60-99,000 and 98% graduated from high school and 56% from college.  Their kids: 34% on drugs by 16, 46% sex by 16, 15% crime by 24. Rich or poor, both suffer from a decrease in morality.
 The next two brackets probably track the majority of New Hanover County residents. The twenty-six percent of parents making between $30,000-59,000, 95% graduated from high school and 35% from college. Thirty-seven percent of their children tried drugs by 16, 54% sex by 16, 18% crime by 24.  Lastly, the 30% poor parents ($0-29,000) graduated 85% from high school and 20% from college, both stats are phenomenal given the challenges they have. Thirty-four percent of their kids have tried drugs by 16, 61% sex by 16 and 21% crime by 24. Try reading that sentence again if you can stomach it.
Did you notice that the more education one gets the less drug use and juvenile sex, quite possibly leading to more serious drugs, babies, abortions, single mothers, school dropouts, and dim futures, perpetuation of poverty, crime, hospitalization, and incarceration?  Note the increase in earnings and its effect upon education. The average difference in total lifetime earnings in the USA between college grads and high school is between $831,000 and $1,200,000, depending upon the study, the profession and the place. This excludes being lucky enough to join a family business or start a successful one. Mind you, there is no guarantee on the level of success but the odds are in the favor of those supporting post-high school educations even if the parent (s) has little or none. I cannot begin to count how many people we know that grew up in households without money and without educated parents but who found people to help them and funding sources to pursue higher learning, including trade schools or apprenticeships.
Employment determines income as well as education determines employment. The level of education achieved usually determines salary if salary, rather than altruistic choices, is the persons goal. There are currently 4.673 million jobs available in the USA per the Department of Labor. One out of four will earn less than $10.00 an hour, forcing them to take “starter” jobs, because of educational deficiencies and that is the #1 reason for not being employed. The other reasons for being turned down are personal hygiene issues, job appropriate technical weaknesses, appearance issues and background and personal history/Internet /reference issues. There are many, many millions earning below the poverty line. Some studies do not take into account teenagers, multiple job workers, and seniors just wanting part time to keep busy.  The minimum wage should be raised, for proficiency, to about $8-8.50/ hour plus some benefits be they tips or other help. However, the $10-15.00 ruckus going on was studied by a Duke University analysis of 400 CFO’s if it went to only $10.00. First they would outsource the jobs. Secondly, people would be fired. Thirdly, jobs moving to part-time. Lastly, they will use machines, not people.  Please know that education, supplemented by smart career choices, solves many world and local problems. Our personal involvement can help.  


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