Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council to Help Boost Educational Attainment
LANSING, Mich., December 10, 2015, — A group of public, private and postsecondary institutions are joining forces to increase educational attainment across Michigan.
The “Keep Learning, Michigan. For All It’s Worth.” campaign launches this week, with a website and social media messages aimed at heightening awareness of the need for teens and adults to continue their education and training beyond high school. These are the first elements of a comprehensive media campaign planned for launch in 2016. The campaign is spearheaded by the Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council.
“We know that within the next five years, 70 percent of Michigan jobs are going to require more than a high school diploma,” said Doug Rothwell, President & CEO of Business Leaders for Michigan, which is part of the Council. “Currently, however, only 46 percent of state residents currently have the degrees and certificates they need to be successful. We need to turn this around—and quickly—if we are going to be competitive as a state.”
“Keep Learning, Michigan” is released on the heels of last week’s report from the Michigan Postsecondary Credential Attainment Workgroup, which highlights the gap between state residents’ educational attainment and the need for skilled, knowledgeable workers.
“This is about more than just getting and keeping jobs—it’s about how well state residents do economically once they get those jobs,” said Daniel Hurley, CEO of the Michigan Association of State Universities. “The evidence is overwhelming: the more one learns, the more he or she earns. Postsecondary education, in all its forms, pays dividends.”
Average hourly wages for a person with an Associate degree or higher are nearly double those for a person with a high school diploma only.
“Jobs that require more education and training are growing faster than jobs requiring only a high school diploma or less. The more skilled and educated Michigan’s workforce becomes, the more likely it is we’ll be able to attract jobs here,” said Mike Hansen, President of the Michigan Community College Association.
Currently, Michigan ranks 31st in educational attainment, expressed as the percentage of its working age population with an Associate degree or higher.
“Last week’s higher education report recommended an impressive statewide goal—60 percent of our state’s population achieving postsecondary degrees or credentials of value by 2025. That’s almost 15 percent higher than where we are now,” said Robert LeFevre, President of Michigan’s Independent Colleges & Universities. “If we’re going to get there—and we believe it’s possible—we need to begin by opening doors for people. We need to help Michiganders see the value of learning beyond high school, and ensure they are have access to the tools and training they need to be successful and fulfilled.”
Rothwell remarked, “Ultimately, this is about raising personal incomes and growing the Michigan economy. We have jobs that need to be filled that require more skills, and we have Michigan students and adults who can fill those jobs if given the right education and training. Employers benefit from gaining valuable employees, Michigan employees benefit from earning more, and the Michigan economy benefits when those higher wages are used to buy more Michigan products and services. Collectively, it will result in a more economically prosperous and socially vibrant state.”
The BLM higher education report that initially recommended the creation of the voluntary Michigan Higher Education Partnership Council can be found at: http://www.businessleadersformichigan.com/research-and-reports/business-leaders-insights-how-higher-education-can-help-mich.html .
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