|Local leaders convene on campus, discuss "talent dividend" |
Oct 21, 2009
Nearly 50 of Denver’s business and civic leaders gathered today at the new Science building, at the invitation of Mayor John Hickenlooper, The Piton Foundation and Metro State, to begin developing strategies for increasing the metro area’s college-attainment rate. The gathering was part of the national Talent Dividend Tour.
According to CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders from the civic, business, academic and philanthropic sectors aimed at improving cities, Denver's economy would get a $1.8 billion boost by increasing the percentage of residents with four-year college degrees by 1 percentage point, to 36.6 percent. “Not a one-time gain, but we can capture this every single year, and if we can do better, that figure grows,” said Carol Coletta, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities.
Metro State can play a major role in this area, according to Metro State President Stephen Jordan. “As the institution that educates the greatest number Colorado residents, we understand our role in generating that additional 1 percent and more,” Jordan said today. “Along with CCD and UCD, we look forward to working with our K-12 partners to make this goal a reality and to provide the skilled workforce needed by area businesses and industry.”
Mayor Hickenlooper said, "Finding creative and immediate ways to improve the financial health of our community is key to working our way out of this historic economic downturn. At the root of this is educational attainment. We must grow our region's talent pool to continue reaping the rewards a highly-educated population brings a community.”
Coletta further explained how the Talent Dividend works. “If you want to know how well your city is doing when it comes to economic development, there is only one figure you need to know: the percentage of your population that has four-year degrees.
“The research on this is unassailable. The more talented your city is the better off it will be. Developing talent from within is an imperative for urban leaders who want their cities to thrive in the knowledge economy.”
Jordan said he was very pleased with the conversation that occurred at today’s meeting. “I’m looking forward to the ideas that these business and civic leaders may come up with in response to the information presented and how they can better increase the support for higher education, specifically around the development of the state’s workforce.” The Talent Dividend Tour is a national tour underwritten by the Lumina Foundation for Education with additional support from DeVry Inc. For more information, visit www.ceosforcities.org/.
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