Helios joined a statewide coalition of more than 60 community, business, philanthropic, government, and education organizations in 2016 in support of the state of Arizona adopting a statewide postsecondary attainment goal. The Foundation invested in capacity building, fundraising, and other efforts of the Achieve60AZ alliance in its mission to boost postsecondary attainment and workforce training among Arizonans.
Achieve60AZ establishes a new statewide goal that at least 60 percent of Arizonans achieve a college degree or certificate by 2030. Currently, 42 percent of Arizonans pursue and complete a postsecondary education, a rate lower than the national average. The urgency to address this problem is only expected to grow, as more than two-thirds of future jobs are expected to require education beyond high school.
While Achieve60AZ is just one of many efforts in Arizona aimed at advancing education, it is unique in its broad, grassroots, and holistic approach – underscoring the strong connections between commerce and education, growth, and equity. Studies show that a more educated workforce, with training and credentials past high school, is a critical indicator of a state’s economic health and long-term viability. If 60 percent of Arizonans aged 25-64 obtain a degree or credential past high school, the state could see an additional $3.5 billion added to its economy; improve business-recruitment efforts by providing a better workforce; increase per-capita earnings, and reduce poverty among Arizonans.