Call to Action

MANY PATHS, ONE FUTURE. More than one million New Jersey adults have yet to earn a degree or post-secondary credential. We must work together to build new pathways for our citizens. 

These include:

  • Associate's and Bachelor's degrees or beyond
  • Industry-valued credentials offered by high schools in partnership with colleges
  • Apprenticeship programs that lead to college credit
  • Industry-valued credentials offered to community college and four year college students
  • Awarding of college credit based on prior work experience or military service

Our citizens will have multiple options to find the path(s) that will help them to become greater assets to employers while doing better for themselves and their families. 

New Jersey’s innovative, skilled workforce has powered our state’s economy throughout our history. We have made life changing discoveries, invented new technologies that have shaped our world, and built things that were once thought impossible. These advances were made possible by a highly skilled, educated, diverse, and productive workforce. 

We have enjoyed prosperity because of that initiative and success, but the world is ever-changing and we must adapt. Technological advances create new opportunities and challenges. Global competition continues to grow in an increasing skilled world. Businesses need educated workers who can learn and adapt to new approaches and technologies. Jobs that require some education after high school, but do not require a college degree are an important part of the economy.

While our state’s prosperity depends on a skilled workforce, the prosperity of every individual, family, and community will be increasingly tied to skills. Individuals will need some education after high school to have a career that can provide a family-supporting income. Strong, compelling data supports a direct relationship between earning potential and education. Individuals with some post-secondary education earn more and are less likely to be unemployed than those who have a high school education or who did not complete high school. 

While we have traditionally boasted of an educated workforce, we also have some educational opportunity gaps for too many of our residents. This limits their potential to contribute which also limits our state's economic competitiveness. College attainment rates vary significantly by race, ethnicity, gender, income, and residence.