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Program aims to get Victorians into college


March 25, 2009 at 6 p.m.
Updated March 24, 2009 at 10:25 p.m.

NAS_PHOTO_WORKING/0322309/CORTEZ_ROBERT_032609Allison Miles/Victoria Advocate*To run with LEAD story

Only one in 10 adults in the University of Houston-Victoria's 14-county region has a bachelor's degree, according to a university presentation. That's half the national average.

But with a little help from the community, one group hopes to change that.

Representatives from UHV's LEAD program - which stands for Letting Education Achieve Dreams - spoke with business leaders Wednesday about the program and what employers can do to help workers further their education.

LEAD recruits people from the high school, community college and business levels and urges them to pursue higher education.

Increasing the area's education base has advantages, said Robert Cortez, LEAD's business and community programs coordinator. It can increase employee retention, improve the region's economic development and bring in more customers to spend money at local businesses.

The presentation came at a good time, said Denee Thomas, the LEAD program's manager. People tend to be more focused on returning to school when the economy is down or they've been laid off.

"They want to improve their skills," she said. "And we're looking for those who want to go back to school."



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