"There is a growing recognition that certainly right now we don't have the workforce we need for strong economic growth in the future and we can't fill the highly skilled jobs we already have," said Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst for the institute. "We are looking at a K-12 system that is increasingly poor and increasingly diverse so this problem is not going to go away."
Republican Sen. Fran Millar, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, agreed, saying Wednesday, "In the next five years, we need 200,000 more people who have post-secondary credentials, certificates, associate's and bachelor's degrees, to fill the jobs we are creating. We have got to find solutions to get first-time people in a family going to technical college or four-year college. With the current course of action, we are not getting there. That is the reason for the urgency of this in the Legislature."