Editorial: Job growth is key to continued 'brain gain'A new report issued last week contains interesting information on Nobles County’s level of education compared to the rest of the state and the country.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
A new report issued last week contains interesting information on Nobles County’s level of education compared to the rest of the state and the country. It also reinforces the notion that the effort to provide, and continually add, good jobs within the county must remain a top priority.
According to the report — prepared by Bill Bishop, editor of the news site DailyYonder.com, and Robert Gollardo, an associate professor at Mississippi State’s Southern Rural Development Center — the percentage of college graduates in Nobles County has increased from 1970 to 2010. Based on census data, the report states that 16.0 percent of county residents had college degrees, compared to just 5.9 percent in 1970.
That’s good news, yet it must be noted that the college-educated rate has increased more dramatically in Minnesota as a whole, not to mention the U.S. In Minnesota, an average 31.4 percent of adults had college degrees in 2010; the national average, meanwhile, was 27.9 percent (in 1970, it was 10.7 percent).
In analyzing these numbers, it seems to us that while it’s gratifying to see our percentage of college graduates increase, it’s not so good to see us so far behind the national norm. Nobles County is not alone in this respect, however — rural communities have long suffered the loss of bright young people to more urban environs.
Yes, we are part of a brain gain, as this study and another one completed recently by the University of Minnesota Extension show — and that’s a positive development. Still, we can get even smarter, and that can happen by working hard to create high-quality jobs that attract and retain educated citizenry.