Vermont is taking “college and career readiness” to another level. The 70x2025vt initiative is aiming to “increase the economic and civic vitality of Vermont through education attainment. By 2025, 70 percent of working-age Vermonters will possess a postsecondary degree or credential of value” (70x2025vt.org).
The “collective action organization” is a concerted effort to create an educated workforce. Vermont has “. . .one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country, and the percentage of college degree holders (45%) is higher than the national average (40%)” (70x2025vt.org).
There are, however, a few formidable hurdles. In 2014, Vermont was below the national average of 62.6% of the college-going rate of high school graduates – directly from high school (“College Participation Rates: College-Going Rates of High School Graduates – Directly from High School”).
Governor Phil Scott supports the “cradle to career” education vision:
My most important commitment as governor is to create more economic opportunity for all Vermonters. . . Our education system is one of the most valuable economic development tools we have. . . We need to ensure our citizens have access to the education and career pathways to help them learn the skills they need to succeed at work and transform our communities. (Mansfield)
There is a partnership of various leaders in business and K-16 education that share this collective vision. The new target percentage increase of an educated workforce along with $250,000 in funding will, as Jay Fayette, executive vice president and chief operating officer of PC Construction states: “. . .joining in the 70x2025vt initiative is a ‘no brainer’ to make sure that Vermont is developing a talent pool that can meet the demands of our state and global economy” (Mansfield).
70x2025vt.org. http://70x2025vt.org. Accessed 1 November 2017.
“College Participation Rates: College-Going Rates of High School Graduates – Directly from High School.” HigherEdInfo.org: College-Going Rates of High School Graduates – Directly from High School, http://www.higheredinfo.org/dbrowser/index.php?submeasure=63&year=2014&level=nation&mode=map&state=0. Accessed 1 November 2017.
Mansfield, Erin. “Scott Backs Initiative for College, Technical Training.” VTDigger, 25 Oct. 2017. https://vtdigger.org/2017/10/24/scott-backs-initiative-college-technical-training/#.WfxyN1tSzIU. Accessed 1 November 2017.