Our region's economic future depends on providing our kids more than just a high school degree, says a new report from the business led Washington Roundtable.
Fewer than a third of our state's students get post-high school educations. With state tuition costs skyrocketing, it's no wonder they aren't just skipping college, they are also missing out on technical training for trade, medical and other higher-paying jobs. Without those credentials, our children will lose up to $960,000 in extra pay over their lifetimes.
Business leaders, who expect 740,000 job openings over the next 5 years, say "it is imperative that we educate our students and fill the job openings with Washington kids versus having to import talent from other countries or states."
We have a local solution on our fall ballot. Olympia Initiative 1 raises more than $2 million per year from the wealthiest 3% to provide one year of free tuition for community college or job training for every high school graduate. As a local business owner of New Traditions, I know that voting yes on Olympia Initiative 1 will pay off by giving our high school graduates an opportunity to compete for those job openings, attract more jobs here, and boost our local economy.