WAVE 3 News Guest Editorial - August 31, 2017: Shaping Our Economic Future

By Dr. Eli Capulouto
President, University of Kentucky

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Three numbers tell the story of today's economy - its challenges and its potential:

  • $1 million is about how much more someone will earn over a lifetime if they go to college.
  • 10,000 is the approximate number of jobs in Louisville unfilled because there are not enough college educated, skilled workers.
  • Nearly $1 billion is how much more tax revenue would be created if the number of college educated Kentuckians were at the national average. Nearly $1 billion dollars more for schools, roads, and health care.

With that, I offer three strategies for how UK and universities like our close partner the University of Louisville can shape the future and those numbers:

  • First, develop stronger pipelines to businesses. Recently, 50 representatives from Greater Louisville Inc. were at UK exploring with us how to recruit more students to fill good-paying jobs.
  • Second, graduate more students to meet the needs of our economy. In the last six years alone, we've increased the number of graduates in health, science, technology, engineering and math by 22 percent.
  • Third, ensure more students receive a degree – on time; without debt. We've more than doubled scholarships and aid that don't have to be repaid. And we have initiated a new program to provide even more aid to students with financial need.

Everything we do has the success of students and the future of the Commonwealth in mind.

And that's one more reason why we are the University for Kentucky.

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