More than 2,000 community leaders from all across the state met Thursday for Destination: Graduation. The Mississippi Department of Education and
Gov. Haley Barbour say they believe it's going to take everyone to keep our children in school.
"The focus here is to come together with the community and the state's interest at heart and do what's right not only for these children, but for our state's future and economic future," Barbour said.
At the state Capitol, students, faculty and administrators from Mississippi fifteen community and junior colleges made legislators aware just how important they are to the state.
"To be frank, a lot of it deals with our ability to create economic development through our training programs," said Dr. Glenn Boyce of Holmes Community College.
Training programs that offer dropouts and low wage earners a chance to create better opportunities for themselves on top of offering college level courses for more than 70,000 students.
"There's a direct correlation between the knowledge and the skills a person has and their lifetime earnings," said Itawamba Community College president, Dr. David Cole.
He said the almost 300,000 Mississippians without a high school diploma or GED have a way to improve their lives through the state's two year institutions. Dr. Boyce agreed.
"These adults who are, in some cases, 25 years or older, also need to be put back into the labor force, and need the opportunity to engage the labor force," said Boyce.