Calling Nevadans as a whole "horribly and fatally undereducated," the head of the state's higher education system said Wednesday more must be done to attract college-educated workers to the area.
Chancellor Jim Rogers ticked off a series of statistics on the sad state of education in Nevada in a speech to the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada.
In a nutshell, he and others said not enough of Nevada's children graduate from high school and not enough of those who do earn their diplomas go on to college.
Nevada ranks 49th for the number of 9th graders who will graduate from college with a baccalaureate degree, Rogers said.
It also is 49th nationally for the percentage of its population enrolled in college and in the number of residents who have an associate or bachelor's degrees.
"We are horribly and fatally undereducated," Rogers said.
"Nevada is not attracting enough college-educated workers to compensate for our failure to educate its own. We rank 50th in the
education level of our young work force."
"I am sickened by the barrage of statistics that say that Nevada is last, and I intend to change them with your help," Rogers said. "Your job is to support these (higher education) institutions and help all of our citizens get that education. We promise to do our part."
Washoe County School Superintendent Paul Dugan joined Rogers in citing partnerships between the business community and education as
essential to training a skilled work force to ensure Nevada's economic growth and ability to compete globally.
Rogers said in the future students will have to pay more for tuition, but more funds must be available for loans and scholarships so they can be full-time students, a key factor in a student's likelihood of completing college.
It also will require business people to create more student internships, offer tuition assistance as an employee benefit and give employees paid time off to take college courses, he said.