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Numbers tell encouraging story

By Anonymous
Posted Feb 14, 2012 @ 12:00 PM
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The statistics illustrate a vicious cycle that keeps Ohio families and the state as a whole from the kinds of prosperity we all want to see.

• Nearly half of unemployed Ohioans in 2010 — 43 percent — had only a high school diploma. Only 10 percent of unemployed Ohioans had a four-year college degree.

• Workers with less than a two-year college degree earn a median wage of $20,000 to $34,000 a year in Ohio. Those with at least a two-year degree have a median wage of $60,000 or more.

And as a Dayton Daily News noted in a review of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job forecast, a state that can’t provide highly educated and skilled workers won’t attract the companies that need those workers.

We mention this not to spread gloom and doom but to set the stage for the exact opposite. Other statistics, provided by the Stark Education Partnership, show that Stark County is becoming a significantly more educated place.

• In 2010, a record 28,328 Stark Countians were enrolled in college, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Five years earlier, that number had stood at 18,408.

• In 2010, more than 60 percent of Stark’s high school graduates went directly to college. In 2001, only 49 percent did.

• Some 85 percent of Stark County high school graduates who go straight to a public university return for their sophomore year; the percentage for Stark students at private colleges is 90 percent. This is well above the state and national second-year enrollment levels of 78 percent and 79 percent, respectively.

• Stark now ranks second among Ohio’s seven largest counties in the ercentage of adults age 25 and older who have associate degrees.

It is all too easy to see lingering effects of the economic recession in Stark County.

It may not be as easy to recognize how the education needle is moving toward more positive numbers, but the numbers we’ve seen recently say it’s so.

The statistics illustrate a vicious cycle that keeps Ohio families and the state as a whole from the kinds of prosperity we all want to see.

• Nearly half of unemployed Ohioans in 2010 — 43 percent — had only a high school diploma. Only 10 percent of unemployed Ohioans had a four-year college degree.

• Workers with less than a two-year college degree earn a median wage of $20,000 to $34,000 a year in Ohio. Those with at least a two-year degree have a median wage of $60,000 or more.

And as a Dayton Daily News noted in a review of the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics job forecast, a state that can’t provide highly educated and skilled workers won’t attract the companies that need those workers.

We mention this not to spread gloom and doom but to set the stage for the exact opposite. Other statistics, provided by the Stark Education Partnership, show that Stark County is becoming a significantly more educated place.

• In 2010, a record 28,328 Stark Countians were enrolled in college, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Five years earlier, that number had stood at 18,408.

• In 2010, more than 60 percent of Stark’s high school graduates went directly to college. In 2001, only 49 percent did.

• Some 85 percent of Stark County high school graduates who go straight to a public university return for their sophomore year; the percentage for Stark students at private colleges is 90 percent. This is well above the state and national second-year enrollment levels of 78 percent and 79 percent, respectively.

• Stark now ranks second among Ohio’s seven largest counties in the ercentage of adults age 25 and older who have associate degrees.

It is all too easy to see lingering effects of the economic recession in Stark County.

It may not be as easy to recognize how the education needle is moving toward more positive numbers, but the numbers we’ve seen recently say it’s so.

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