St. Louis Regional Chamber Initiative Hopes To Translate Degrees Into Dollars

May 1, 2013

The St. Louis Regional Chamber is launching a collaborative initiative to increase the percentage of the area’s workforce which has a bachelor’s degree or higher.

Thirty percent of adults in the St. Louis region have at least a bachelor’s degree, ranking it 14th among the nation’s metropolitan areas.  That’s just behind Los Angeles and ahead of Houston, according to U.S. Census estimates.  Meanwhile, decades of slow population growth place St. Louis as the 19th most populated region.

While population growth is tepid, the chamber explains that college attainment is “our strongest building block for a better tomorrow.  A well-educated workforce can be the foundation for a future that defies past trends.”

Building on that foundation, the initiative calls for the region to be among the top ten in terms of college attainment by the year 2025.

“No factor is more critical to the St. Louis region’s competitive position in the global marketplace than education,” according to the chamber’s report.

Citing a correlation between metropolitan income and educational attainment, “the annual increase in regional income associated with a one percent increase in college attainment in metro St. Louis is $2.4 billion.”

Host Don Marsh’s guests include:

  • Joe Reagan, President and CEO of the St. Louis Regional Chamber
  • Lee Kaplan, Senior Vice President and CAO of Enterprise Holdings and member of the Regional Chamber Talent Council
  • Tara Pham, a founding member of the Brain Drain Collective that promotes living in St. Louis and CEO OF CTY, a civic tech startup

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