Letters to the Editor

LTR: As the business voice for education reform, we support the ASSET bill

Dear Chairman Massey and members of the House Education Committee,

We are writing to express our support for Senate Bill 12-015, also known as the “Colorado ASSET” bill. As the business voice for education reform, we support this bill based on its alignment with our vision that “every student has access to a high performing school and graduates with the knowledge, skills and behaviors necessary to compete in a competitive global economy.”

This is a workforce pipeline issue and our businesses’ demand for top talent is greatly outpacing the state’s supply. Currently, 81% of Colorado’s jobs require some postsecondary education, yet only 45% of Colorado’s adults are qualified to fill them. Further, a recent study by Georgetown University estimates that the number of jobs in Colorado requiring some postsecondary education will be among the nation’s highest by the year 2018.

Aside from the need for educated applicants to fill our workforce, we also know that the future prosperity of our businesses depends on an educated customer base. Given the correlation between education levels and employment rates and wages, it is perfectly clear that a well-educated populous is better for the overall economy within which our businesses operate.

Yet, without SB 12-015, many of our students in Colorado will not be able to pursue higher education due to its already-high, and ever-growing cost. We know that many of these students will obtain legal status one day and can take advantage of opportunities such as workplace sponsorship in the meantime. Regardless, students afforded an opportunity to pursue higher education through SB 12-015 will be better prepared to enter our workforce and contribute to society with the skills and mindsets necessary to make significant contributions.

Finally, we know that some of the smartest policy minds in the country are looking into a national solution for this issue. If and when this is addressed at the federal level, we want to ensure that Colorado’s students are able to take part in the opportunities afforded to them through federal legislation.

For these reasons, we urge you to support SB 12-015.

Sincerely,
Colorado Succeeds

Trustees

Raymond J. Bellucci , TIAA-CREF Financial Services

Rob Cohen, The IMA Financial Group

Pete Coors, MillerCoors

Mark Cornetta, 9NEWS

Tom Gart, Gart Properties

Jim Hayes, FORTUNE Magazine (retired)

Bruce James, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Steve Lake, CBIZ

Donna Lynne, Kaiser Permanente

Steve McConahey, SGM Capital

Carrie Morgridge, Morgridge Family Foundation

Hassan Salem, U.S. Bank

Mark Smith, East West Partners

Kent Thiry, DaVita

Bob Tointon, Phelps Tointon

Scott Wylie, First Western Trust

Board of Directors

Bob Deibel, Co-chairman OfficeScapes

Al Timothy, Co-chairman, MillerCoors

Zack Neumeyer, Founder, Sage Hospitality Resources

Jandel Allen-Davis, Kaiser Permanente

Jill Barkin, JP Morgan Chase

Casey Cortese, Janus

Pat Donovan, Revolution Foods

David Henry, E.B. Lane Advertising

Carol Hansen, Tatonka Capital

Tyler Nottberg, U.S. Engineering

Alexander Ooms, ClearCreek Partners

Jeff Plush, Colorado Rapids

Steve Richards, Mile High Outdoor

Bruce Siegel, North Highland

Advisory Council

Brent Abrahm, Accruit

Rob Alvarado, Alvarado Concepts

Rudy Andras, RBC Capital Markets

Andy Arnold, AWA Ventures

Cary Baird, Chevron

Matt Baldner, Steele Street Bank

Andy Boian, Dovetail Solutions

William Browning, Rebound Solutions

Jason Crow, Holland & Hart LLP

Emily Eikelberner, TeleTech

Scott Foust, North Highland

Chris Franks, Moblify

Jean Galloway, Galloway Group

Bill Gold, Goldbug

Daniel Jablonsky, Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Paul Koenig, Shareholder Representative Services

Ben Kornell, DaVita

Rich Lewis, RTL Networks

Todd Lindenbaum, Sport Shares

Rochelle Rabeler, Holland & Hart LLP

Lorii Rabinowitz, KUSA/9NEWS

Jesus Salazar, Credera