NE Indiana Unveils Education 'Snapshot'

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A new education report released by the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership shows nearly 37 percent of residents in the region have a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential. The partnership's Vision 2020 initiative aims to raise that percentage to 60 by 2025.

October 9, 2014

News release

Fort Wayne, Ind. -- A "Snapshot" of the state of education in Northeast Indiana was released today by the Big Goal Collaborative, an initiative of the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership. This baseline report marks the first time that this education data has been compiled at a regional level.

The Snapshot is designed to gauge the region's success in a series of key measures that have been identified by Big Goal Collaborative stakeholders and volunteers as critical to the region's ability to produce an educated and technically qualified workforce. It includes the most currently available statistics and indicators within the five segments of the education continuum -- early childhood learning, K-8, high school completion, technical education and postsecondary completion. Figures in the report include the percentage of students deemed Kindergarten ready, the percentage of students passing third grade reading and math, high school graduation rates and more.

By monitoring key indicators across the entire education continuum, leaders throughout the region can see where Northeast Indiana falls short and needs to focus attention.

"The Snapshot ensures we are aligned around a common vision and helps identify best practices in the region and share them with others who are facing similar hurdles. Reaching the Big Goal is a team effort," said Ryan Twiss, director of the Big Goal Collaborative at the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership.

The Big Goal -- increasing the percentage of residents in Northeast Indiana with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60% by 2025 -- is one of the priorities identified through the Partnership's Vision 2020 initiative.

According to the most current data available, nearly 37% of residents in Northeast Indiana have a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential. The 2014 Snapshot shows that if the region's attainment level continues to rise at the current rate, only about 45% of residents will have a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential by 2025. But by 2025, more than 60% of jobs in the U.S. will require a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential.

"If Northeast Indiana can't meet that demand, jobs will go elsewhere," said Twiss. "Knowing where we currently stand is crucial if we want to move closer to reaching the Big Goal and compete for new jobs."

The 2014 Snapshot can be found in the Resource Center on the Regional Partnership's Vision 2020 website. The Snapshot will be updated annually to mark Northeast Indiana's progress toward reaching the Big Goal.

The Big Goal Collaborative launched in 2012 under the 21st Century Talent Pillar of Vision 2020 and is a regional movement comprised of educators, community partners, businesses, civic leaders and others from throughout Northeast Indiana committed to the Big Goal. For more information about the Big Goal Collaborative, visit www.neindiana.com/vision/biggoal.

The Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership was formed in 2006 to help build a globally competitive economy in Northeast Indiana. It is a public-private partnership creating business investment by generating business leads, developing product and fostering regional collaboration. In 2010, the Partnership launched Vision 2020 to bring the region together around five key areas for economic growth: 21st Century Talent, Competitive Business Climate, Entrepreneurship, Infrastructure and Quality of Life. The 10 counties of Northeast Indiana include Adams, Allen, DeKalb, Huntington, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley. For more information, visit www.NEIndiana.com.

Source: Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership