Governor Robert Bentley on Tuesday announced the 65 by 2025 initiative to better prepare Alabamians for current and future jobs. The new attainment goal initiative was announced during the Alabama Workforce Council meeting. The goal of the initiative is to have 65 percent of Alabamians attain some type of post-secondary education either through a certificate of value, credential or degree.
"Our citizens, now more than ever, need to have post-secondary education to be competitive in the workforce. The 65 by 2025 initiative will unify state agencies, education institutions, businesses and industries to share a common goal of increasing Alabama's post-secondary attainment rate," Governor Bentley said. "It is important that every person who wants a job have an opportunity to get a job, but it is equally essential that each person is properly trained. Alabama has been successful in attracting businesses because of our trained and highly-skilled workforce, and I want to see that trend continue."
A study by the Georgetown Public Policy Institute, Center on Education and the Workforce shows that within the next five to ten years, more than half of the jobs in Alabama will require education and skills beyond a traditional high school diploma. According to the Lumina Foundation's most recent study, Alabama's post-secondary attainment rate for residents between the ages of 25 and 64 is currently 36.7 percent.
"Often, it's the lack of a degree or a particular certification that prevents someone from obtaining their dream job," Secretary of the Alabama Department of Labor Fitzgerald Washington said. "This initiative has the potential to remove that barrier for so many Alabamians. It can unlock opportunities that were previously denied, and allow workers to better provide for themselves and their families."
According to the Alabama Department of Labor, occupations requiring post-secondary education are projected to grow faster than average at 10.4 percent. The study from Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce also shows that by 2020, 65 percent of jobs in the nation will require post-secondary education. The 65 by 2025 Initiative will help in closing the education gap among the older population, lower income citizens, African Americans, Hispanics, Native Americans and incarcerated individuals.