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New Report: Improved educational attainment, including a greater percentage of Arizonans completing college, is vital to the state’s economic future

Statement from ABOR Chair Lyndel Manson

Background: A coalition of the state’s most prominent business and economic groups – Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Southern Arizona Leadership Council; Northern Arizona Leadership Alliance and the Greater Phoenix Chamber – commissioned an analysis by Rounds Consulting Group into the linkage between Arizona’s lagging rate of educational attainment and our economic output. The result – “Advancing Arizona’s Economy: Investment in Workforce Development” – clearly demonstrates the need for further state investment in postsecondary education and the economic ROI at-stake.

“This vital analysis is a compelling and clear-eyed call to action for additional state investment in postsecondary education and workforce development at a time when evidence suggests Arizona is falling behind. If current trends continue, fewer than 17% of today’s 9th graders will have earned a university degree by 2029. During this same time period, the report estimates Arizona will annually issue 26,300 fewer bachelor’s degrees than our economy needs.

“Taken together, these troubling statistics are symptomatic of a chronic low rate of educational attainment in Arizona that both limits individual upward mobility and is a recipe for future economic stagnation.

“In order to foster and support the vibrant economy Arizona seeks, this report demonstrates the need for added investment in postsecondary education and workforce development – as well as the economic risks if Arizona continues on its current trajectory.

“This report on ‘Advancing Arizona’s Economy’ is essential reading for every state and local policymaker, business official and education leader, and should serve as a wake-up call for Arizona to act before it’s too late.”


Sarah Harper, 602-229-2542, 602-402-1341 |