Friday, October 19, 2012

Salt Lake Community College Hosts Governor Herbert’s Education Summit

Salt Lake Community College was host to Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert’s 2012 Education Summit at its Taylorsville Redwood Campus. Governor Herbert brought together his Education Excellence Commission, leaders in public and higher education, and representatives of the business community for his annual education summit at the College.

"This summit represents the most unprecedented effort we've had in recent memory to improve education in Utah," Governor Herbert said.
SLCC President Cynthia Bioteau welcomed those in attendance in the summit’s opening remarks. “Thank you, Governor Herbert for the vision you have set and for bringing us here today,” she said. “Education is a bridge to life, and we are here to talk through any differences of opinion to find common ground and to reach solutions we all desire.”

Governor Herbert cited education as essential to sustained economic growth. “In Utah we have a plan for education from K through gray. Education is my top budget priority,” he said. He outlined the goals set by a proposal called PACE: prepare young learners, access for all students, complete certificates and degrees, and economic success. Herbert called the purpose of the education summit to reach the goal of 66% of all working-age Utahns having or obtaining a post-secondary degree or certification by 2020.
“This goal is a significant challenge, and we’ve got work to do,” he said. Currently, 43 percent of Utah’s people have one or more degrees or certificates following high school education. "But education will set us free. Students will be free to pursue their own dreams.”
Dr. Jeff Strohl,  Director of Research at the Georgetown University Center on Education spoke on the connection between education and the workforce. Strohl lauded Utah for providing access to education for its people. Dr. Strohl's research looks at the supply and demand of education and how education enhances career opportunities for today's workforce. His focus is on how workers skills can be quantified and the proper way to consider workplace competencies as the contemporary workplace evolves in this country and elsewhere.

Utah Commissioner of Higher Education Dave Buhler spoke in support of the mission set by the Governor's education summit and considered how the Utah System of Higher Education can help achieve the goals it sets. "We are fully committed to the goals of prosperity 2020. We know that we will have to do some things differently," he said. "We ask that the State Legislature and some others do things a bit differently. But we can get there and we will get there."