As mentioned in my Aug. 3 blog post about the Power of Philanthropy, I recently attended a convening hosted by Lumina Foundation in Indianapolis. This convening, which brought together representatives of more than 80 community foundations from across the nation, focused on community strategies to increase higher education attainment.
Lumina Foundation is the nation’s largest private foundation focused solely on increasing higher education attainment. In 2010, the percentage of Americans between the ages of 25 and 64—working age adults—who held a two- or four-year degree was 38.3 percent, compared to 37.9 percent in 2008. This rate, while moving in the right direction, is simply not moving fast enough.
Do you remember the Lumina Foundation’s big goal? By 2025, 60 percent of working age Americans should have a postsecondary degree or credential—meeting “Goal 2025” is essential to our communities. As civic, philanthropic and thought leaders, community foundation leaders are in a unique position to influence the priority placed on higher education attainment in cities and towns across the country.
SWIF has a long history of working with business leaders to address regional economic opportunities and issues. Beginning this fall, we’ll also partner with [email protected] (www.skillsatwork.org), a statewide campaign to close the skills gap coordinated by the Governor’s Workforce Development Council and Greater Twin Cities United Way, to create a customized regional action plan.
Research shows that between now and 2018, Minnesota will need to fill 902,000 vacancies resulting from job creation, worker retirements and other factors. Of these job vacancies, 620,000 will require post secondary credentials. Our southwest Minnesota region has a role to play in filling this need for both education and workforce, so watch for ways that you can support these important efforts.