The percentage of adults in the state who do not have basic reading capabilities is significantly higher than the national average. Dr. Perryman explains the depth of this issue.
Literacy is essential to many daily activities, and its importance to individual wellbeing can hardly be overstated. In an era of workforce shortages, it is rapidly becoming an economic imperative. The Program for the International Assessment of Adult Competencies (PIAAC) defines five levels of proficiency. Adults who are "Below Level 1" can, at best, read brief texts on familiar topics and locate a piece of specific information, with only basic vocabulary knowledge required. Levels 3 and above allow greater comprehension and application and are generally consistent with being able to perform some type of technical or professional labor.