TODAY'S LEADERS LOOK TO TOMORROW SOCIETY BILL CLINTON THE POORLY TRAINED ARE GOING TO GET MURDERED
By Bill Clinton Nancy Perry Clinton, 43, the governor of Arkansas and co-chairman of the Governors' Task Force on Education, spoke with Nancy Perry.

(FORTUNE Magazine) – Workers with no more than a high school education are going to get murdered in the economy of the 1990s. They already are. More than half the jobs being created today require more than a high school education. There is a closer correlation between income and education now than ever before. That's largely because in a global economy there are not as many low-skill, blue-collar jobs paying high wages. Young workers under 25 with a high school diploma are earning 27% less than they were 15 years ago. High school dropouts in the work force earn 42% less in constant dollars than they did 15 years ago. In the 1990s, American business is going to have to give the vocational and community college system the same scrutiny that it has been giving the public schools. What we really need are comprehensive educational institutions that will be community colleges, vocational schools, specific industry training centers, and adult literacy centers all in one. There are models of what works. In my state, Westark Community College in Fort Smith is an adult education center, a traditional community college, and the biggest and best votech program we've got. It conducts industry training programs for companies from all over Arkansas. If an industry wants training, the college lets it sign off on who's going to provide that training, how long it will take, and what the output is. If Westark fails to produce the output, industry doesn't have to pay for it. Last year the school raised $5.5 million in just nine months in an endowment fund drive. The Founding Fathers created the states as laboratories of democracy so that they could steal from each other. Fashioning unique solutions to unique problems is phase one. In phase two, if you have a common problem and somebody solved it in Connecticut, then maybe you ought to duplicate it in Arizona. So far, we've been terrible at replicating local programs that work. That has to change, because if we don't make a big dent pretty soon in our education problem, we're going to suffer fairly severe economic consequences.