Concord — The New Hampshire Coalition for Business & Education, a statewide coalition of business, education and public policy leaders, is launching a new communications campaign focused on a statewide message that New Hampshire’s economy depends on education. The campaign will launch with ads on WMUR-TV, beginning the week of April 7th.

The first ad shows the letter “E” which separates into the words “education” and “economy” and a voice-under message saying that each one depends on the other. The ads were created by Fred Kocher and produced for the Coalition by WMUR.

“This is the first of what will be a number of initiatives to help persuade the public that the State’s future economic health will depend on the education of its citizens – more than anything else,” said Coalition Chair, Tom Raffio, President of Northeast Delta Dental. Raffio also serves as Chair of the New Hampshire Board of Education.

In addition to the WMUR ads, the Coalition has launched a new website (nhcbe.org) that outlines the Coalition’s activities and its intention to be an advocacy group committed to improving the quality, access and relevance of education for New Hampshire citizens of all ages.

The Coalition was formed in April of 2013 with the mission of strengthening the ties between the business and education communities in New Hampshire in order to work together on improving education at all levels. Coalition members include business CEOs, college presidents and chancellors, NH Department of Education leaders, school district leaders, non-profit education program directors, and the chairs of the NH House and NH Senate Education Committees.

“Many in the New Hampshire business community have been frustrated with the shortage of talent needed to run their businesses, especially in the areas of science and technology,” said Tom Raffio. “The Coalition offers a unique platform to advocate for viable initiatives that improve education, and also bolster the New Hampshire advantage through a 21st century educated workforce.”

To date, the New Hampshire Coalition for Business & Education has advocated for several education initiatives, including the New Hampshire Scholars Program, which is in 73 New Hampshire high schools where it promotes more rigor and relevance in high school curriculums, combined with student mentoring from the business community, and with the goal of improving student-readiness for college. Led by Director, Scott Power, State Scholars will be celebrating the accomplishments of more than 4,000 NH graduating high school seniors on May 13 at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium on Manchester.

The Coalition has also supported the statewide mapping of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education programs by the NH Charitable Foundation. Led by its President, Richard Ober, the goal is to promote a better utilization of those programs for the education of talent needed by New Hampshire businesses.

And, the Coalition supports the continued implementation of the Common Core Standards in New Hampshire secondary schools with the caveat that local school districts and teachers have the flexibility to add to or modify the standards to fit best teaching practices, with the overall goal of improving the education process for students.

The Coalition is being coordinated by Fred Kocher, former President of the NH High Technology Council. Coalition Advisors include the President of the New Hampshire College and University Council, Tom Horgan, the Commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Education, Virginia Barry, and Deputy Commissioner, Paul Leather. The Coalition is supported by a Steering Group that includes the President of the Business & Industry Association of New Hampshire, Jim Roche; Vice President of Hypertherm, Inc, Barbara Couch; President of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, Richard Ober; and Director of the New Hampshire Center for Public Policy, Steve Norton.