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Re: “Degree of Graduates

So let me get this straight...you want to live in a city (metro area) that has fewer than one in four citizens age 25 and older without a college degree? Knowing that education is the antidote for poverty, crime and many of the social ills that challenge a community - and cripple Memphis? Knowing that 68% of the new jobs developed between now and 2018 will require a degree? Knowing that a high school degree doesn't get you very far in today's economy? Knowing that the number of college educated individuals living in our city decreases instead of increases every day. You are happy with the status quo, or further deterioration of the city - doing nothing to improve the community? Leadership Memphis hasn't announced plans to get everyone in Memphis a degree. We want a one percentage point increase - or 8002 degrees - over the next five years. And we recognize and have involved every institution that provides any sort of post-secondary education within the Memphis metro area - because every year of additional education makes someone that much more employable. And companies that consider moving to Memphis often walk away because the workforce isn't educated enough, just as companies locally often decline to expand here because the workforce isn't educated enough. Is the existing higher education system perfect? No. Much can and is being done to improve completion rates. Is every child who graduates from high school ready for college? No. Much can and is being done to address this, as well. Should everyone who started but didn't finish college - go back to college now? No. But some could and should. The point being made with the Memphis Talent Dividend initiative is that if YOU are not in college, you ought to be helping someone who is (be successful in their college experience), or help someone who ought to be in college (get into and be successful in college). If that is a graduate degree, bachelors, associates, certificate, whatever - it all helps. If someone truly (and I mean truly) doesn't belong in college - okay - "Why waste the resources?" But if someone truly (and I mean truly) does belong in college - and isn't - then the same question applies - "Why waste the resources?"

Posted by 1Memphis on 06/01/2010 at 9:46 AM


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