A year after launching Expect More Arkansas, we're sharing how communities, organizations, and businesses across Arkansas expect more of our state's future.
In 2016, we visited 17 communities across Arkansas to answer one incredibly important question: "We Expect More of ourselves, our communities, and our state's future...so what are we going to do about it?"
Looking at 2013 data, 70 percent of the jobs in our state required a high school diploma or less, and many families and communities continued to pay the price. In that number, we saw that students didn't see what was possible with a two- or four-year degree in their communities. We saw that graduating high school seniors struggled to find jobs that provided family-supporting wages and lacked resources they needed to continue their education in college. We saw that parents had to work two or three jobs just to get by and were doing their best to support their children in school. We knew our future would be much like the present unless we took action.
But what we saw and heard driving along I-40, I-30, and a dozen country roads into the heart of communities across our state gave us hope. We heard students, families, educators, community leaders, business leaders, and policymakers who were committed to not letting data determine our shared future. We heard how communities were coming together to transform what opportunities are available to high school graduates. We heard how communities were supporting parents in furthering their own education so they could help their children grow and learn.
In short, we were inspired.
That is why we are sharing this Expect More Video Series. In this series over the next several weeks, we will:
Provide examples of what communities are doing to attract, train, and retain high-skilled workers who earn family-supporting wages
Share replicable models and encourage communities to adopt what has worked in others
Encourage educators, community leaders, business leaders, and policymakers to take action to create a more prosperous future for our state
We will release six Expect More videos–one every two weeks. Please share these Expect More videos via Facebook, Twitter, and email. If you know of other great Expect More examples, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can learn from them and help spread the word about what we are doing to transform our student's lives, our communities' development, and our state's future.
We Know You Can't Wait
It's hard having to wait to hear what we learned from communities. Check out Expect More Arkansas: 2016 Community Conversations to find out what we learned from communities across Arkansas:
READ EXPECT MORE ARKANSAS: 2016 COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS