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Ambitious plan revealed for getting Arizonans college degrees

(Alex Hicks Jr./The Spartanburg Herald-Journal via AP)

PHOENIX — A new community coalition has ambitious plans for higher education in Arizona.

“Achieve 60 AZ” is a group of community, business and education leaders, and it wants 60 percent of adults in Arizona to have either a professional certificate or college degree by the year 2030.

Gov. Doug Ducey said he wholeheartedly endorses this.

“A better-educated population is the cornerstone of a thriving workforce,” Ducey said. “If we can achieve 60 – and I have every confidence that we can – our state will be an ever stronger magnet for skilled laborers and businesses looking for a new home.”

The coalition outlined four key areas to help achieve the 60 percent goal. They include raising awareness about options beyond high school, including the trades.

That’s heartening to Steve Macias, president of Phoenix-based Pivot Manufacturing.

“This isn’t like the old days – there isn’t oil flying in your face, you’re not breathing in coal dust,” Macias said. “There’s a lot of exciting things out there in the trades.”

Groups supporting the coalition include Expect More Arizona and the Goldwater Institute.

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