Getting Dr. Charles Garrett to head up the establishment of the Wellspring Center for Professional Futures is a coup for the CREATE Foundation and its Toyota Education Enhancement Advisory Committee.
By luring the New Albany Schools superintendent to take the job, the committee has greatly increased the chances that the center will be successfully developed.
The center, to be built across Interstate 22 (U.S. 78) from the Toyota manufacturing plant in Union County, will be supported by earnings from the $50 million Endowment Fund Toyota agreed to create as part of the manufacturing plant package.
It’s no secret that the school project has been floundering. It will take at least $35 million to construct the center, and so far none of that money has been committed from federal, state or private sources. The state legislature is considering a $6 million appropriation as part of a state bond bill.
And school officials in the region have given the idea only tepid – at best – support, and have questioned whether the logistics can be worked out to get students from their schools to the advanced career center for part of the school day.
Now, CREATE and the committee will have what they have needed – a state-wide respected and influential school leader with a reputation for hard work, strong ethics, practical thinking, and a way of getting things done without being divisive.
Moving the Wellspring Center from a pipe dream to a nationally acclaimed show place for career development is a daunting task. We think Chuck Garrett is the right person for the job.