California is where people come from all over the world to pursue their dreams, whether in Hollywood, the Silicon Valley, or the fields of the Central and Napa valleys. Our Golden State holds the vision of possibility – invention, innovation, and advancement. One of the most important investments our state made was in the California Master Plan for Higher Education of 1960, which created a continuum of educational opportunity for all Californians, catapulting the Golden State to become a leader in innovation and entrepreneurship with one of the largest economies in the world. Since then, California has boomed, spearheading internationally competitive industries that require advanced education. California’s population has more than doubled, becoming more racially diverse than the Master Plan could have foreseen. Our state’s industries have evolved, now requiring advanced education, technical know-how, and global savvy. The demand of these new industries will soon outgrow the supply of California’s current workforce. With the leadership of the next Governor, a new day must dawn in the Golden State to recognize and address the realities we face:
-Our people’s standard of living is declining
-Our talent pipeline is aging and our future workforce is not prepared
-Our greatest asset – the diversity of our state – will hurt our future economic prosperity if enormous educational disparities continue to be ignored
-Our state is not graduating enough people with college degrees or vocational training to meet current and projected job market demand
Our 2018 California Higher Education Report Card shows that California earns merely average grades and overall is far from reaching a 60 percent college attainment goal by 2030 – producing an additional 1.65 million college degrees and credentials – that is required for our economy.
The future of California – and our economic standing in the world – will be shaped by how our next Governor prioritizes and addresses deep challenges in higher education.
California needs a Governor who will dream with us and for us.