Spartanburg Academic Movement: Inspiring a Cultural Shift to Increase the Value of Education

August 19, 2015 Alexandra Luterek and Vera Oziransky

College graduates can expect to live at least 5 years longer than individuals who have not finished high school. Education is not only strongly linked to health, but is directly related to economic growth and development. The national contribution of education to labor productivity growth is estimated to be between 13 and 30 percent of the total increase over the past 40 years.

Nationally, about 30% of adults aged 25 and older have a bachelor’s degree. However, these rates vary across the nation. In 2009, Spartanburg County, South Carolina realized it lagged behind both its state and the nation in educational achievement. As a result, employers, school districts, local government, and academic institutions came together to develop the Spartanburg Academic Movement (SAM), a cradle-to-career collective impact initiative to boost county-wide academic achievement.

Recognizing that educational achievement creates shared value for businesses, SAM has engaged local businesses through a variety of means, including trading skills with a manufacturing company to improve the efficiency of its operations.

How has your business invested in local education to build a qualified workforce for the future? Let us know how below, or join the conversation on social media using #Beyond4Walls

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