Hawaiʻi P-20 Launches 55 by ’25 Campaign

May 14, 2015, 2:17 PM HST · Updated May 15, 6:41 AM
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UH graduates, Photo courtesy Hawaiʻi P-20, 55 by ’25 campaign.

UH graduates, Photo courtesy Hawaiʻi P-20, 55 by ’25 campaign.

By Maui Now Staff

The Hawaiʻi P-20 statewide partnership for education launched a 55 by ’25 campaign that aims to get 55% of Hawaiʻi’s working age adults to obtain a two- or four-year college degree by the year 2025.

In an effort to increase support and participation, partners will host pledge drive events online and across the state on Friday and Saturday, May 15 and 16, 2015.

Here on Maui, a pledge drive will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 15 at the Queen Kaʻahumanu Shopping Center in Kahului.

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So far, the more than 1,800 people have pledged their support.  Organizers hope to reach a goal of 5,000 pledges this summer.

The Hawaiʻi P-20 Partnerships for Education is a statewide partnership led by the Executive Office on Early Learning, the Hawaiʻi State Department of Education and the University of Hawaiʻi System.

Hawaiʻi Governor David Ige commented in an event announcement saying, “Education is more important than ever to our economic success in Hawaiʻi and the nation.  Studies show that by 2020, 70% of the jobs in this state will require some college education and more. In Hawaiʻi for example, there is currently a critical demand for workers with IT or STEM degrees. As a state, we must increase the number of adults with two-year or four-year college degrees to meet these workforce demands,” he said.

Executive Director Karen Lee also commented saying, “Those who visit our site at www.55by25.org any time in May can take a three-question scavenger hunt quiz on the site, and be entered to win a variety of education-related prizes including trips for two to Seattle and San Diego, perfect for visiting college campuses and a MacBook Pro, perfect for studying.”

According to data compiled by the US Census Bureau, only 44.3% of Hawaiʻi’s working age adults (ages 25 – 64) in 2013 held a two- or four-year degree.  The data further states that Hawaiʻi residents with bachelor’s degrees earn on average $27,000 more per year than residents with only a high school diploma, and are far less likely to be unemployed, even during a recession.

According to information compiled by program leaders, the 2013 median wages of full-time workers age 25 and older with a Bachelor’s degree was 70% higher than median wages for those with a high school diploma.

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