Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Governor Cooper Working to Meet Critical Education Goal North Carolina Strives to Meet Goal of 2 Million Residents with a High-Quality Postsecondary Degree or Credential by 2030

<p>The&nbsp;<a data-auth="NotApplicable" href=";msgid=473655&amp;act=20YB&amp;c=1346310&amp;" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">Raleigh News &amp; Observer</a>&nbsp;today highlighted North Carolina&rsquo;s ambitious goal of&nbsp;having 2 million residents with a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.</p>
Feb 26, 2020

The Raleigh News & Observer today highlighted North Carolina’s ambitious goal of having 2 million residents with a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.One of Governor Roy Cooper’s top priorities has been educating the workforce needed to meet this goal and continue recruiting companies to North Carolina. As Governor Cooper has traveled the state, visiting with community college leaders, workforce development boards and students and learning about ways to help grow the state’s talent pipeline he has proposed or launched. In order to achieve the ambitious goal of several programs to help North Carolina meet the mark.

In January, Governor Cooper announced that the Finish Line Grants program issued more than 3,000 grants and $2 million since the program was announced in July 2018. The Finish Line Grants program helps students stay on track to complete their degree or credential when they face unexpected financial emergencies that might otherwise cause them to drop out. To learn more about Finish Line Grants, click here.

Governor Cooper also proposed NC GROW—Getting Ready for Opportunities in the Workforce—a scholarship program to help people get community college degrees and job training.

NC GROW and Finish Line grants are key parts of NC Job Ready, Gov. Cooper’s initiative to prepare North Carolinians for the jobs of today and tomorrow and connect employers with the skilled workers they need to grow and succeed.

Success at community colleges is largely attributed to the educators. Governor Cooper’sresponsible compromise budget proposal included a 4% pay raise for community college employees.

Governor Cooper continues to be a champion of workforce development and community college growth and will continue to fight for students and educators.

From the News & Observer: NC wants 2 million to have post-high school degree by 2030. The workforce depends on it.

By Kate Murphy

February 26, 2020

North Carolina has plenty of good jobs. What it doesn’t have is enough people with the education to fill all of those jobs.

Less than half of the state’s residents ages 25 to 44 have a college degree or professional credential.

Education leaders across North Carolina are trying to fix that by setting a very ambitious goal: that 2 million residents will have a high-quality postsecondary degree or credential by 2030.


MyFutureNC is a statewide nonprofit organization created to reach the 2030 goal through collaboration between North Carolina leaders in education, business and government.

“Those areas of the state that are struggling will certainly see a benefit from this, because it’s hard to grow a business or create jobs in an area that doesn’t have a skilled workforce,” Hans said.

With just regular growth and no significant changes in policy over the next 10 years, the state would have about 1.6 million adults who have the required level of education the workforce needs. But with the goal set at 2 million by 2030, the state needs to help about 400,000 people get those degrees and credentials.


“A real impediment to this goal is the rising cost of higher education coupled with the fact that many families are living on the edge financially,” North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper said.

Investment from the state plays a big role in making college accessible for people, Cooper said.

Finish line grants provide financial help to students who come close to finishing a degree or credential but hit an unexpected financial roadblock, like major car repairs or medical bills. Using federal money, the state offers these grants to students who are more than halfway to finishing their education. The grants have helped hundreds since 2018.

Cooper also mentioned last dollar community college scholarships, which help students pursuing jobs in high-demand fields cover remaining tuition and fees.

Nearly 70% of jobs in North Carolina require a post-secondary credential or degree, according to MyFutureNC. Cooper and Hans say community colleges are going to help move the needle with short-term, affordable education options.


While Wake Young Men’s Leadership Academy is opening doors for a few dozen students each year, MyFutureNC partners are working to scale that success across the state and raise North Carolina’s education standard. The group set up a website to measure the progress toward the 2030 statewide attainment goal and how individual counties are performing.

“We have to be willing to invest in education significantly in order to reach this goal,” Governor Cooper said.

It’s good that they’ve all agreed on a goal, he said, but actually reaching it is going to be a lot harder.

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