In 2012 it became clear to leaders across Tennessee that conversations about economic development were becoming conversations about education.
Our administration's work with national think tanks and economists at our universities showed we would need 55 percent of Tennesseans to have a post-secondary degree or certificate by 2025 to keep our economy growing. At the time, only 32 percent of our citizens held such a credential. It was clear Tennessee needed to change the conversation around going to college and raise our expectations.
Our administration, in cooperation with our state legislature, universities and education advocates, created the Drive to 55 initiative to take Tennessee to that 55 percent mark. In 2014 I signed into law Drive to 55's milestone piece of public policy, the Tennessee Promise.