NCNB CORPORATION CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND BUSINESS AND EDUCATION LEADERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
NCNB CORPORATION CHAIRMAN ADDRESSES PUBLIC OFFICIALS
AND BUSINESS AND EDUCATION LEADERS IN SOUTH CAROLINA
COLUMBIA, S.C., Nov. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Until educators and business leaders help South Carolinians link education to solving the state's most pressing societal problems, there will be no grassroots effort to strengthen education at all levels, NCNB Corp. (NYSE: NCB) Chairman Hugh McColl said today.
"We all see the rocks that are likely to sink us -- unless we execute a change of course in education . . . and in how we support it," McColl said. "Improved education, indeed, could reverse all of the socioeconomic characteristics that South Carolina is least proud of."
The state's woes include the nation's seventh fastest growing crime rate the second highest rate of infant mortality and the second lowest life expectancy, he said.
A Bennettsville native, McColl spoke to about 350 public officials and business and educational leaders at the Governor's Summit on Higher Education.
Without educational improvements, the state's situation could worsen, McColl said.
South Carolina is projected to gain nearly 240,000 jobs before the year 2000, a 24 percent increase. "But it comes as no secret to many of you that roughly half of those jobs will require some post-secondary education, and one-third will require a four-year degree," he said.
"Unless we can supply enough qualified workers to meet the demand in the job marketplace, those jobs will go elsewhere."
McColl noted that private-sector financial support for pre- college education has risen from 6 to 10 percent recently. He cited NCNB's $2 million commitment to the Southern Regional Educational Board and its policy of allowing employees two hours of paid company time each week for volunteering in schools as examples of corporate involvement in education.
"But at the end of the day, the issues facing South Carolina are much more fundamental," he said. "Beyond any role the private sector can play, South Carolina must decide what is best for South Carolina.
"The larger question is . . . how do we -- you and I -- build the grassroots consensus we need to reinforce higher education in South Carolina? How do we convince the people of South Carolina to reorder their priorities?"
The state's dual educational objectives must be to provide an education to every citizen who seeks one and to achieve the highest standards of experience, McColl said.
Public opinion polls give the state's legislature low marks for support of education, but those same polls show that South Carolinians still are willing to fund higher education, he said.
"But how long will that willingness last?" McColl said. "Your challenge is, first, to prove to the people of South Carolina that you are good stewards of their hard-earned education dollars . . . Once you've taken that step, then you can begin to build the grassroots political will needed to retool higher education for the long run."
NCNB South Carolina is a subsidiary of NCNB Corp., the nation's seventh largest bank holding company with more than $70 billion in assets and full-service banks in seven states.
/CONTACT: Chris Spencer, NCNB Corporation, 803-758-2348/
(NCB) CO: NCNB Corporation ST: South Carolina IN: FIN SU: DF -- CH009 -- 1790 11/06/91 14:06 EST