Today, high school is simply not enough. What matters most is a high degree of technical training, and frequently a two-year degree or a four-year degree for students to be career ready. As seen in the chart below, there is considerable average variation (nationally) in annual earnings based on educational attainment. Similarly, there are considerably higher rates of employment for those with higher levels of education (Korsmo, 2017). 

Earnings and Unemployment Rates by Education Attainment.jpg

When first-generation, low-income and minority populations miss the opportunity for a post-secondary education, well-paid career positions of decision-making power get filled by those with vastly different life experiences. Our region is diverse in a multitude of ways yet positions of power seem to be filled by privileged individuals. We want the interests of our entire community to be represented in well-paying jobs and for generational poverty to decrease.