STATES LEAD THE WAY TO INNOVATION ECONOMY
Napolitano presents testimony to U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor
Governor Napolitano today told the U.S. House of Representatives
Committee on Education and Labor that Americans must innovate to compete in the global
economy, and that states are perfectly positioned to lead in that effort.
"States play a pivotal role in effecting change and creating innovative economies," said Governor
Napolitano. "This is our opportunity to reinvent our system of education and recapture our
competitive edge. The answer is innovation, and the solution lies in our states. As Governors, we
believe that states are the engines for change."
The Committee invited Governor Napolitano to testify on the issue for its hearing entitled,
"Strengthening America's Middle Class: Finding Economic Solutions to Help America's
Families". Governor Napolitano is the current Chair of the National Governors Association. Her
Chair's initiative, "Innovation America," underscores the point that U.S. economic growth in the
21st century - and the ability to compete successfully with other nations - will be driven by
America's ability to generate ideas and translate them into innovations.
Innovation America has three main strategies:
?? Improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education
?? Enabling the post-secondary education system to better support innovation
?? Encourage business innovation through supportive state policies.
The Governor pointed to Arizona as a model for developing a climate of innovation. Working
with academia and the private sector, Arizona has taken steps to ensure the state becomes a worldclass
leader in innovation: "In Arizona, we are building a premier education system from preschool
through college, and are working hand-in-hand with businesses to make sure our students
can meet the demands of the 21st century economy," said Napolitano.
For example, the Governor's P-20 Council has worked to improve STEM education by
recommending a more rigorous curriculum and demanding that our education systems are aligned
to business needs, so that training matches the local job market.
The Governor also offered the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), a non-profit
organization focused on using genetics to help diagnose and treat diseases, as an example of
Arizona's efforts to foster innovative science and research. A recent economic impact report
indicated that every dollar the state invests in TGen results in nearly $4 of economic output.