Knox County leaders have launched a new initiative to increase the percentage of high school graduates who go on to college or trade school.
The 70% x 2024 effort was unveiled at a panel discussion on Monday, which included leaders from Knox County Schools, the University of Tennessee, Pellissippi State Community College, the Knoxville Chamber, TNAchieves and ProjectGRAD.
The initiative strives to increase the percentage of Knox County graduates who attend college to 70 percent by 2024. Knox County has seen a decrease in the college-going rate in recent years, dropping to 59 percent in 2021 from 67 percent in 2015.
That decline has also drawn the attention of elected officials, including Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs, who attended Monday’s kickoff.
“Education and workforce development are two of the main pillars in supporting the idea this community creates opportunities for everyone to thrive in an engaged and vibrant community,” Jacobs said.
By attending a high-quality technical, two-year, or four-year college, Knox County students will be better prepared for their futures.
According to research from Georgetown University, an estimated 70 percent of jobs in 2030 will require some form of postsecondary education. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates who earn a postsecondary degree could earn approximately a quarter of a million dollars more in their lifetime than if they did not attend college.
While the 70% x 2024 threshold is an ambitious goal, leaders who attended the event said they believe it is attainable and will make a lasting impact on the future of Knox County and its students. Read more about this project here.