Business Leaders Agree Increasing Investment in Nation's Youngest Children Should be National Economic Priority

Business Leaders Agree Increasing Investment in Nation's Youngest Children Should be National Economic Priority

The Partnership for America's Economic Success today announced the start of the second annual Telluride Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment. The event, hosted by the Partnership and the Telluride Foundation from September 21 to 23, 2008, will convene more than 150 top business and civic leaders from around the country to discuss why the business community should help make young children a national economic priority.

"The long-term economic health of this country clearly demands smarter thinking," said Bill Watkins, chief executive officer of Seagate Technology. "Investing in young children has been proven to increase income, skill sets and even the health of children well into adulthood. As financial leaders and as a nation, we can no longer overlook the fact that investment in early childhood is critical." 

The theme of the 2008 Telluride Economic Summit on Early Childhood Investment is "Making Smart Investments in a Tough Economic Climate." Discussions at the event will center on how increasing investment in children from before birth to age five can help promote a stronger economy by creating a more highly skilled workforce and a healthier, more stable, next generation of adults. Speakers will present specific research on the topic, including studies on the negative effects of poverty, poor dental care and untreated asthma on young children.

"It is increasingly clear that we have to look beyond traditional answers in order to protect our economic future," said Robert Dugger, managing director of the Tudor Investment Corporation and Advisory Board chair of the Partnership. "It is equally clear that, despite short-term hurdles, increasing national investments in young children would be a powerful long-term economic growth strategy.  It's time we put two and two together."

Speakers at this year's summit include Dennis Lockhart; Robert Dugger; the Honorable Barbara O'Brien, Lieutenant Governor of Colorado; the Honorable John Hickenlooper, Mayor of Denver; James Heckman, 2000 Nobel Laureate in Economics; Michael Mendel, senior economist at BusinessWeek; Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce; and Paul Major, executive director of the Telluride Foundation. Participants include leading executives from the financial, education and public policy sectors, among others.

"The increasing popularity of the Telluride Summit shows that business leaders are recognizing the economic advantages of strengthening investments in young children and they want to be a part of spreading this important message," said Sara Watson, director of the Partnership and senior officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts. "The research we will present and discuss this week proves that making our youngest residents an economic priority benefits the children themselves and our nation's financial future, as well as our ability to boast a healthier, more financially stable and more highly skilled workforce."

For a full conference agenda and speaker list, please visit

The Partnership for America's Economic Success was created by a group of business leaders, economists, advocates, and a dozen funders in order to document the economic impacts to the nation of proven investments in children from before birth and to age five. The Partnership is managed by The Pew Charitable Trusts. For more information, please

The Telluride Foundation exists to create a stronger Telluride community through the promotion and support of philanthropy. It is a nonprofit, apolitical community foundation that provides year-round support for local organizations involved in arts, education, athletics, charitable causes, land conservation and other community-based efforts through technical assistance, education and grant making. For more information on the Telluride Foundation,