55,000 Degrees Program report shows Lou. exceeds national average

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by Brooke Katz

WHAS11.com

Posted on November 18, 2013 at 2:36 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 6:11 PM

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A new report out shows Louisville's progress in the 55,000 Degrees Program, which is aimed at getting half of all working-age adults in the city college degrees.

According to the report released Monday, more people in Louisville have college degrees than ever before. The program is a community movement that launched three years ago.

"We are making progress because the community is working together," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said. "education partners, businesses and civic groups are stepping up to make Louisville smarter and stronger and attract better, higher-paying jobs to the area."

The progress report shows that right now 41.3 percent of working adults in Louisville have a college degree. That means Louisville exceeds the national average by about two percentage points. More people are earning their degrees. Local colleges and universities have ramped up degree production by about 20 percent since 2010. Also, more adults are going back to school.

In spite of the good news, Louisville is still behind schedule in efforts to meet the goal of 55,000 Degrees. The report says more of Louisville's employers are needed to step up and aggressively support adult workers earning their college degrees. There's also an attainment gap when it comes to gender and ethnicity. Women are outpacing men and Caucasians are outpacing minorities. The other big problem is that 20 percent of JCPS high school graduates who were college bound did not attend classes in the fall.

One of the businesses stepping up is Humana. Fischer said  the business is pledging to help 2,000 of its workers earn their degrees by 2020. The commitment is the largest yet from an employer.

For more information on 55,000 Degrees, head to the following website: http://www.55000degrees.org/
 

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