WAVE 3 Editorial - February 21, 2012: 55,000 Degrees

By Ken Selvaggi
WAVE 3 Vice President and General Manager

Roughly 10,000 children will be born in Jefferson County this year. Less than 3,000 of them will earn college degrees.

This current pace metric must change for the Louisville region to truly grow. More graduates leads to a more valuable work force and that leads to a better regional economy. So we all benefit.

Raleigh-Durham has twice as many college graduates as Louisville and not coincidentally attracts more people and those people contribute greatly to their community, and not just in tax payments.

If Louisville adds 40,000 more bachelor's degrees and 15,000 more associate's degrees in the next eight years, then half of the adults in Louisville will have college degrees.

The community is rallying around this 55,000 degree initiative to create a college-going culture. If you have a college degree you will earn on average $17,000 a year more than someone with a high school diploma only. Over the course of 45 years that's more than three quarters of a million dollars.

In a competitive global economy, meeting the 55,000 degrees goal will make the difference between a city that is good and a city that is great.

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