On Feb. 9 at Creech Road Elementary School, the leaders of some of North Carolina’s most prominent businesses – inlcuding SAS, Red Hat and AT&T, will spearhead the national release of a report from the Business Roundtable (BRT), “Why Reading Matters and What To Do About It.”

These business leaders are committed to increasing third-grade literacy across the nation, and particularly in North Carolina, as a major step in reversing the “skills gap” and in developing a workforce prepared to succeed in a global economy.

SAS CEO Jim Goodnight, who led BRT’s CEO task force that developed the report, is joined in these efforts by:

·    Venessa Harrison, President, AT&T North Carolina

·      Dale Jenkins, CEO, Medical Mutual Insurance Company of North Carolina

·      Mike Lamach, CEO, Ingersoll Rand

·      Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America, N.A.

·      Tom Nelson, CEO, National Gypsum Company

·      Jim Whitehurst, CEO, Red Hat, Inc.

The report presents alarming information about the current state of third-grade reading proficiency and the potential effects on students’ academic and career prospects. And the jobs of tomorrow, and today, demand a level of education that many students are not on track to achieve.

The report also contains specific policy recommendations for states to implement, and advises business leaders on how they can support the effort.

Following the press conference and Q&A, the CEOs will read to groups of children.