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Tennessee stands among the nations bottom 10 states in the percentage of adults who have college degrees and still will be playing catch-up in 2025, a new report finds.

Most states are not on track to reach the level of educational attainment needed by 2025 to meet work force demands and compete with best-performing nations such as Canada, Ireland and Japan, according to research by the nonprofit Jobs for the Future.
Tennessee stands among the nation's bottom 10 states in the percentage of adults who have college degrees and still will be playing catch-up in 2025, a new report finds.

Most states are not on track to reach the level of educational attainment needed by 2025 to meet work force demands and compete with best-performing nations such as Canada, Ireland and Japan, according to research by the nonprofit Jobs for the Future.

“Tennessee shouldn't feel picked on here. No state is off the hook,” said Travis Reindl, who leads a national initiative focused on improving college access and affordability. “The intent (of the report) was to get a conversation started about the magnitude of the issue here. We've got a big job.”

The report was released by the Making Opportunity Affordable initiative, which Mr. Reindl leads through the Boston-based Jobs for the Future. In Tennessee, 29.8 percent of adults ages 25 to 64 have associate or bachelor's degrees compared with 37.4 nationwide, the report found.

Those numbers are expected to increase to 40.4 percent in Tennessee by 2025 and 45.9 percent nationwide.

Georgia in 2025 will be just 1 percentage point behind the U.S. as a whole in the percentage of adults ages 25 to 64 who have a college degree. Alabama will move up from almost 12 percentage points on this measure in 2025, but it will remain “substantially behind the nation,” the report states. (Chattanooga Times Free Press, Dec. 3, 2007)