One of the brightest spots for Connecticut in national competitiveness rankings is our education system and workforce quality. Last year in CNBC’s “America’s Top States for Business,” we ranked #5 for education.
But concerns are mounting about the state’s ability to keep producing the skilled workers that our economy needs?
One study indicates that by 2025, Connecticut’s economy will require a workforce in which 65% will have some education beyond high school. But as of 2012, only 47.5% of Connecticut’s population had an associate’s degree or higher.
The state’s Planning Commission for Higher Education has developed a strategic plan to address Connecticut’s higher education needs and help the state meet the demand for skilled talent.
The commission’s plan addresses accessibility, learning outcomes, finances and affordability, and governance and decision-making authority.
Major recommendations focus on:
- Increasing the number of adults in higher education, and their levels of academic attainment
- Strengthening regional higher education and business collaborations aimed at producing a more competitive workforce and vibrant economy
- Affordability for Connecticut residents (addressed in part in HB 6919)
Each recommendation comes with specific targets and a base set of metrics to measure and monitor progress toward achieving the goals.
Proposals contained in HB 7007, a bill now being considered by the state legislature, are designed to make the strategic plan the state’s official policy for higher education and help ensure that Connecticut is on the right path to support our economy with a talented workforce.
The state House has unanimously approved HB 7007, which now awaits action in the Senate.
CBIA encourages the Senate to also adopt HB 7007 as an important step for Connecticut.