This commentary reflects the view of the seven regional presidents of PNC Bank in Ohio, Paul Clark of Cleveland, Kay Geiger of Cincinnati, Michael Gonsiorowski of Columbus, William McDonnell of Toledo, David Melin of Dayton, Theodore Schmidt of Youngstown and Kevin Thompson of Akron.

When children attend high-quality preschools, something magical happens.

In quality pre-K classrooms, children use top-notch resources to experiment with nature and astronomy. They use blocks to explore how to build. They engage in vocabulary-rich conversations. All of this could help produce future scientists, novelists or architects.

While it might seem like a far reach to correlate preschool learning to successful adulthood, research has shown that a high-quality pre-K education better prepares children for success in school and life.

Research demonstrates that high-quality early education positively affects children’s cognitive learning and social/emotional development, builds a foundation for lifelong learning and improves skills for the workforce of tomorrow. Quality preschool programs are also critically important to reducing dropout rates, remedial job training, criminal behavior and costly services that are a drain on economic growth.

For every $1 invested in high-quality preschool, society reaps as much as $16 in long-term savings, according to a cost-benefit analysis of the Perry Preschool Study, a research project that spanned 40 years.

It’s hard to ignore such compelling evidence.

That’s why PNC has made it a priority to support high-quality early childhood education through PNC Grow Up Great, our multiyear $350 million initiative to help children from birth to age 5 develop a lifelong love of learning. Further, we’re supporting efforts to bring much-needed visibility to the importance of access to this education, including through our support of Groundwork Ohio and Vote for Ohio Kids, a statewide effort dedicated to ensuring Ohio’s next governor will make Ohio’s kids a priority.

By giving more children access to a substantial pre-K education, PNC is helping build a stronger Ohio and create the workforce it needs for continued advancement in the 21st century.

Ohio has already made considerable progress. Cincinnati taxpayers passed a tax levy in 2016 that provides $15 million annually to expand access to quality preschools. In Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, PRE4CLE and Invest in Children continue to increase the number of and access to high-quality preschool seats, improve quality ratings and connect families to these programs. In the Dayton area, Montgomery County and the city of Dayton through taxes provide funding to the Dayton Preschool Promise to boost the number of high-quality preschools and provide tuition assistance.

But we still have a long way to go, as just 40 percent of Ohio kids enter kindergarten ready for success. Those who are not ready often lag behind through primary school and high school.

Consequently, just 43 percent of Ohio’s workforce has a degree or the credentials to fill available jobs. It’s one of the reasons so many businesses say they can’t find skilled workers to fill open positions.

It’s up to all of us — businesses, residents, elected officials and nonprofit organizations — to provide the tools that allow Ohioans to succeed, starting with our youngest neighbors.

Please join PNC and others in the crusade to provide a high-quality pre-K education. This November, candidates across Ohio will be asking for your vote. Make sure they know that you support funding for access to high-quality pre-K for all children in Ohio. It will benefit our society in numerous ways for decades to come.