The City of Akron and Summit County are at a crossroads in terms of economic development and community vibrancy.
Akron was nicknamed the “Rubber City” for its former status as the epicenter of the tire and rubber industry; it’s home to world headquarters and massive manufacturing plants for Goodyear, Firestone, General Tire and Goodrich Tire. The city and region maneuvered through a significant change as the industry realigned and relocated many of its plants and headquarters. This time period was challenging, but Akron was able to reinvent itself with new, high-tech industries. But these industries need workers, and the workers need education!
Summit County is experiencing typical educational attainment growth. In fact, we expect to grow about 1 percent in educational attainment every three years. Although this is good news, it is not nearly enough to propel our region forward to fill the anticipated career vacancies. That is why we have embarked to achieve this bold goal of increasing our county’s degree attainment to 48,000 new college degrees and high-value career credentials by 2025. When we achieve this goal, Summit County will be among the top 10 percent of urban counties in the country in terms of educational attainment growth.
Summit Education Initiative’s 48,000-degree goal is associated with a national effort led by Lumina™ Foundation. In fact, Akron, Ohio, is in the second cohort of Lumina’s community-based post-secondary education attainment strategy. Goal 2025 represents Lumina’s commitment to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.