CRAWFORD COUNTY — From 2015 to 2018, Crawford County saw an increase in post-high school educational attainment levels of working-age residents (ages 25-64) of 5.42 percentage points, from 23.08 percent to 28.5 percent. That’s according to data gathered from the Lumina Foundation, the U.S. Census Bureau Quick Facts, and American Community Survey.
“This speaks volumes for how important it was that we worked with North Central State College to get the Crawford Success Center open in 2015,” explained Lisa Workman, President of The Community Foundation for Crawford County. “We have also really expanded our scholarship offerings to make education more affordable and attainable, and increased scholarships for current college students to keep them in school.”
“Increasing our education attainment level has been a shared goal for us since the Crawford County 2020 Vision Plan was developed in 2010,” added Gary Frankhouse, Executive and Economic Development Director at the Crawford Partnership. “The plan also called for establishing a Crawford County Learning Center within 10 years that would offer postsecondary classes, but our committed community did it in five years with the opening of the Crawford Success Center!”
According to Amanda Sheets, operations director at the Crawford Success Center, “We have so many pathways here to achieve career success and can meet a student wherever they are in their educational journey. We can help with everything from GED and Adult Diploma programs to earned certificates that connect to local employers to associate degree programs. And thanks to a gift from The Community Foundation for Crawford County, you can earn your practical nursing degree (LPN) here in as little as a year!”
According to the Lumina Foundation, the need for universal post-high school education is rooted in the global shift from an industrial economy to a knowledge economy. The vast majority of jobs being created require education beyond high school, and that trend shows no sign of abating. Unfortunately, fewer than half of Americans ages 25-64 hold a credential beyond high school.
The State of Ohio ranks 31st of the 50 states in terms of education attainment (45.5 percent), and Ohio’s Complete to Compete Goal is to achieve 65 percent by 2025. In terms of some of Ohio’s 88 counties, Delaware ranked 1st at 65.2 percent, Ashland is 39th at 30.8 percent, Crawford is 49th at 28.5 percent, Richland is 54th at 27.8 percent, and Holmes is 88th at 12.7 percent. Data for every county can be found at http://strongernation.luminafoundation.org/report/2020/#state/OH.
The bottom line,” said Workman, “is that education holds the key for attaining employment, higher household income, and the general strength and well-being of our community and nation.”