Haslam understands various educational challenges state faces
In a very down-to-earth and to-the-point talk, Gov. Bill Haslam told a crowd of 600 Thursday night:
More Tennesseans need to pursue post-secondary education or a lot of jobs will go somewhere else.
Currently only 32 percent of the state’s residents 25 years or older have a two-year college degree or other advanced degrees.
In order to be competitive, he said that in 10 years, 55 percent of jobs will require post-secondary education.
Gov. Haslam added that he is currently working to address barriers such as affordability.
He related recent meetings with major employers considering adding 1,000 additional jobs in the state. Their key concern, like other prospects, was having a trained work force with needed educational opportunities.
He also encouraged students to help solve national issues. Many of the arguments about national issues involve unworkable simplistic answers. The easy, simple answer is usually just that, he said.
Haslam encouraged students to work through problems and issues, synthesizing the material to reach a higher degree of understanding.
“Obviously, you’ve been incredibly gifted,” he said. “Work through issues. Help solve problems instead of complaining about them.”
While this was his word to the honorees, many of the adults in attendance felt it was good advice to all Americans in these troubled times when there are many simplistic, unworkable plans floating nationally.
In conclusion, the popular governor congratulated the more than 200 students from the five local public high schools who received academic school letters, advising, “Don’t stop. Take your gifts and continue to excel.”