Rep. Wayne Burton (D-Durham), in a Concord Monitor opinion piece, outlined the importance of higher education and his plan to achieve the new statewide goal to have 65% of Granite Staters will hold a post-secondary credential or degree by 2025. New Hampshire has struggled to keep up with the demand for highly educated and trained workers, losing students to colleges and universities in other states where less than half return. Of those that attend in-state schools, over a quarter leave after graduation, posing major problems for the state, explains Rep. Burton:
Failure to close the looming skill deficit of 15 percent to 25 percent will negatively affect every New Hampshire resident regardless of party and political persuasion… Embracing the status quo will deny us the summit we must reach to be competitive in the 21st century and leave our generational responsibility unfilled to those following us.
To address the problem, he filed three bills to be considered in the 2016 legislative session: one that formally acknowledges the challenge, one that proposes a scholarship program for high achieving New Hampshire students, and one that holds the state accountable to meet the 65/25 initiative. He hopes that they will incentivize students to stay in New Hampshire and encourage a conversation around retention of skilled workers in the state.
Read the full article and more about Rep. Burton’s plan here.