Hawaii’s Education Goal of 55 Percent with a College Degree by 2025 – “55 by ’25”

Leaders in education and business, and politicians spoke at a news conference today in an effort to strengthen the state’s workforce through higher education. During the event at Honolulu Community College, Hawaii P-20 Partnerships for Education (Hawaii P-20), a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawaii State Department of Education, and the University of Hawaii System today announced the launch of Phase II of the “55 by ‘25” campaign.

The launch of phase II of the "55 by '25" campaign is celebrated by (L to R): Senator Jill Tokuda, Dr. GG Weisenfeld, David Lassner, Karen Lee, Kathryn Matayoshi, John La Forgia, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Rep. Roy Takumi, and John Komeiji.

The launch of phase II of the “55 by ’25” campaign is celebrated by (L to R): Senator Jill Tokuda, Dr. GG Weisenfeld, David Lassner, Karen Lee, Kathryn Matayoshi, John La Forgia, Governor Neil Abercrombie, Rep. Roy Takumi, and John Komeiji.

The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce found that by 2018, 65 percent of jobs in Hawaii will require some college, and according to the U.S. Census, just under 42 percent of Hawaii’s adults currently hold a two- or four-year college degree.  This leaves a 23 percent skills gap; an alarming percentage to Hawaii’s educational leaders.

In order for Hawaii to meet the challenges of an increasingly global economy, the Hawaii P-20 Council established a goal for 55 percent of Hawaii’s working age adults to have a two- or four-year college degree by the year 2025. Stressing the need for community-wide participation, civic leaders illustrated ways everyone – from parents and educators to businesses and community organizations – can help achieve this goal.

Governor Neil Abercrombie; Kathryn Matayoshi, Superintendent of Hawaii State Department of Education; David Lassner, Interim President of the University of Hawaii System; GG Weisenfeld, Director of Executive Office on Early Learning; John La Forgia, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Hawaii Pacific Health; Karen Lee, Executive Director of Hawaii P-20 and Richard Mizusawa, UH Manoa student and Chair of the UH Student Caucus all shared details on what is currently being done in support of this campaign, ways the community can help, and the myriad of benefits a more educated workforce means for our local economy.

The effort is also being supported by the Hawaii State Legislature, as the news conference closed with a joint House and Senate certificate presented by Senator Jill Tokuda and Representative Roy Takumi.

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