By the year 2025, seventy percent of Vermont’s working-age adults will possess a postsecondary degree or credential of value.

We define “credential of value” as the completion of a postsecondary academic or professional program that documents a set of skills or experiences as part of a career pathway that leads to employment and/or further educational opportunities.

Whereas, earning a college degree or credential of value will improve equity and individual opportunity for Vermonters; and

Whereas, Vermont must address urgent workforce and economic development needs; and

Whereas, an educated citizenry produces public benefits for Vermont’s future; and

Whereas, Vermont has one of the highest high school graduation rates in the country but lags New England states and the nation in the percentage of students who continue their education; and

Whereas, over two-thirds of all jobs in Vermont will require some form of postsecondary education; and

Whereas, to meet the projected jobs needs, 30,000 more Vermonters will need to earn a college degree or credential by 2025; and

Whereas, Vermont has not yet taken the significant steps needed to increase the educational level of its youngest adults, which is essential for Vermont to remain competitive regionally, nationally and globally; and

Whereas, too many working-age Vermonters do not have the knowledge or skills they need to obtain jobs that will provide a livable wage, including more than 60,000 who have some college but no credential or degree; and

Whereas, over the past 30 years, the gap between the “haves” and “have nots” in Vermont and the nation has increased significantly; and

Whereas, education is the key to a better and more prosperous life and the most powerful tool to end generational poverty and reverse social inequities; and

Whereas, Vermont has set an attainment goal for Vermont, highlighting the imperative to increase the percent of working-age adults holding a high-value certificate, college degree, vocational education or other industry-recognized credential to 70 percent by 2025, particularly gaining credentials aligned to Vermont’s workforce needs.

Therefore be it resolved that we endorse the attainment goal and urge Vermonters everywhere to support efforts to achieve 70 by 2025.

Be it further resolved, that we commit ourselves to developing, supporting and assessing initiatives that strengthen postsecondary expectations, preparation, financing and completion in order to ensure that 70 percent of Vermont working-age adults obtain a postsecondary degree or credential of value.

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