Greater Louisville Inc. Receives Lumina Foundation Grant to Assist with Degree Completion for Adults

2/9/2011 11:56:42 AM


Greater Louisville Inc. Receives Lumina Foundation Grant to Assist with Degree Completion for Adults

Effort part of bold new goal to develop 55,000 more adults with degrees by 2020 in the Greater Louisville region


Louisville, Ky. (10-15-10) - Thousands of Louisville residents who have some college credits but never earned a degree have new support in earning their credentials. Greater Louisville Inc. and the HIRE Education Forum have received an $800,000 grant from the Lumina Foundation to help regional adults complete their degrees. The grant is part of the foundation’s national strategy to support adult-learners with college credits in earning a degree or credential of value in the workplace.


Through a collaboration of the business community, metro government and civic and educational institutions, the grant will be used to help 3,500 adults in the Greater Louisville region attain their degrees, with a goal that at least 500 of those attaining degrees will be minorities.  


Initiatives will include helping businesses develop best practices for degree completion in the workplace; developing one-on-one counseling with employees on post-secondary opportunities; launching a marketing campaign to encourage adults to complete their degrees and connect them to the necessary resources; and assisting post-secondary institutions in determining curricular gaps to better support adult learners.


These efforts will be taken as part of a larger community initiative launching today, 55,000 Degrees. The initiative aims to increase the number of working-age adults with post-secondary degrees in Louisville by 55,000 by 2020. This bold and ambitious goal will include 40,000 bachelor degrees and 15,000 associate degrees. The African American community has committed to helping ensure at least 15,000 of these degrees be earned by minorities. An increase of 55,000 more degrees by 2020 would place Louisville Metro in the top tier of its competitor cities for adults ages 25-64 holding a bachelors degree.


“We are very encouraged that Lumina selected Louisville as the recipient of their coveted grant,” said Eileen Pickett, Senior Vice President for Economic and Community Development at Greater Louisville Inc. “Businesses, civic leaders and educational institutions have come together across our region to try some very exciting and forward-thinking initiatives, which will no doubt become best-practices for communities around the nation.”


“Increasing our region’s educational attainment isn’t just about the new students coming through the pipeline,” said Gale Rhodes, Assistant University Provost for the University of Louisville and co-chair of the HIRE Education Forum. “The Lumina grant will allow us to dramatically increase the education levels of today’s workforce, along with future generations of workers.”


About Greater Louisville Inc.

The mission of Greater Louisville Inc. – The Metro Chamber of Commerce is to provide leadership on initiatives that impact the success of member businesses and contribute to the prosperity of our entire community. For more information, visit


About HIRE (Higher Income Requires Education) 

The HIRE Education Forum is an alliance of colleges and universities in the Greater Louisville region. Its 31 institutional members represent approximately 86 percent of the region’s post-secondary community.  The vision of HIRE is to unite the Greater Louisville post-secondary community to collaboratively and effectively respond to economic development challenges by bridging the gap between academia and business, and increase our region’s post-secondary graduation rate.  For more information, visit


About the Lumina Foundation

Lumina Foundation for Education is committed to enrolling and graduating more students from college—especially low-income students, students of color, first-generation students and adult learners. Our goal is to increase the percentage of Americans who hold high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina pursues this goal in three ways: by identifying and supporting effective practice, through public policy advocacy, and by using our communications and convening power to build public will for change. For more information, visit