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Tech Talkin' Govs: More Governors Use Addresses to Promote Higher Ed Investments

February 12, 2015

SSTI's Tech Talkin' Govs series has returned as governors across the country formally convene 2015 legislative sessions. The series highlights new and expanded TBED proposals from governors' State of the State, Budget and Inaugural addresses.

The fifth installment of this year’s series includes excerpts from speeches delivered in Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Read the first, second, third and fourth installments of this year’s series.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, State of the State Address, Feb. 4, 2015
"... Too many people in our communities must overcome not only hurdles that state government has put in place, but also decades of hidden barriers that have caused their communities to suffer. Approximately 80% of individuals in Illinois apprenticeship programs are white even though Caucasians make up fewer than 63% of our population. ..."

"... We should require unions that contract with the state to have their apprenticeship programs reflect the demographics of Illinois communities, and to have their membership on public construction projects reflect the diversity in the surrounding area.

"And we should create a Minority Enterprise Small Business Investment Program to assist minority entrepreneurs in startups throughout Illinois. ..."

North Carolina
Gov. Pat McCrory, 2015 State of the State Address, Feb. 4, 2015
"... [W]orking with the leadership of the House and Senate, we will submit for your approval, a series of tools which will help us beat the competition. We need these tools passed in a matter of weeks, not months. Our plan, 'NC Competes,' will promote long-term sustainable job growth and capital investment. It will encourage mid and large scale manufacturing, because manufacturing is part of our DNA. It will leverage our university research advantage to attract venture capital and a new generation of entrepreneurs, as well as help retain North Carolina’s home-grown talent. This plan is based on a series of guiding principles – principles designed to grow North Carolina while protecting our taxpayers. NC Competes recognizes the importance of economic strength in all regions but emphasizes support to areas of high unemployment. NC Competes will require strong financial safeguards to provide a positive return to state revenues. ..."

"... We are leveraging the advantage provided by our public and private research universities through our Innovation to Jobs initiative that we just presented to the UNC Board of Governors. It’s designed to convert more of our research dollars into products and services that are patented and introduced into the marketplace. Increasing the commercialization of university research and connecting it to our greater economy will create more high-paying jobs. As governor, my goal is to have North Carolina become the third vertex of the National Innovation Triangle connecting North Carolina to Boston and the Silicon Valley. This effort is a top priority. Therefore I’ve asked my Chief of Staff Thomas Stith to lead this Innovation to Jobs initiative. ..."

Gov. Mary Fallin, 2015 State of the State Remarks, Feb. 2, 2015
"... I have established a team to launch a new program called “Oklahoma Works.”

"Oklahoma Works is a cooperative effort between the public and private sector designed to strengthen the talent pipeline between K-12 education, career technology centers, higher education institutions, and businesses.

"We will work to aggressively develop local partnerships to help ensure both children and adult students have access to the training and education they need to enter a career. ..."

"... Without good information, we can’t make good decisions. To fix that, my office, legislators and several agencies spent the past year working with the Pew Charitable Trusts analyzing better ways to correctly evaluate our incentives.

"The Pew Charitable Trusts worked with us to develop legislation requiring all incentives to be evaluated on their own merits at least once every four years.

"These evaluations will give us all better information so we can make better decisions.

"I am asking you to send me this bill, and help all of us get the information we need to make well-informed, fiscally responsible decisions. ..."

Gov. Bill Haslam, State of the State Address, Feb. 9, 2015
"Last year, we introduced the Tennessee Promise - the very first state in the country to guarantee high school graduates two years of free community college or technical school.

"This year, of our 65,000 high school seniors, 58,000 of them applied for the Tennessee Promise. Equally notable, 9,200 adult Tennesseans signed up to be volunteer mentors for those students. ..."

"... We know that access is important, but even more important is success. Not only do we need to get those students into school, they need to finish. That’s why the mentor piece of the Tennessee Promise is so important.

"But we’re also going to include $400,000 in this year’s budget to establish the Tennessee Promise Bridge Program. It’s a pilot program to bring first-generation students to campus prior to fall enrollment. ..."

"... We are including $1.5 million dollars in this year’s budget for a pilot program – modeled after the Tennessee Promise - to provide last dollar scholarships to adults with some post-secondary credit to attend community college.

"Also, beginning this fall, any Tennessee adult will be able to attend a Tennessee College of Applied Technology absolutely free.

"The budget also includes nearly $2.5 million for statewide outreach efforts geared toward adult students, technical assistance to local communities that are finding ways to support adult learners, and a one stop portal for adults. ..."

Illinois, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennesseetech talkin govs