In connection with Thursday's article, "Census finds Pennsylvania among grayest states," it is worth noting that, from now until today's preschoolers graduate from college, 10,000 people will reach retirement age in the United States daily. But by 2018, according to Georgetown University, the postsecondary system will have produced three million fewer college graduates than will be needed by the labor market.

Brain connections for higher cognitive thinking and other skills peak before age 5. Many skills we desire in employees are well formed before a child reaches kindergarten. Research from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University suggests that the experiences children have before age 5 affect their brain development and learning for life. That is why I support Gov. Corbett's decision to maintain Pennsylvania's early education programs and urge our state leaders to do the same as they begin budget negotiations. Our economic future relies on helping today's young children reach their promise through quality early education now.

James R. Waddington, Jr.

Former board chairman

Economy League of Greater Philadelphia