Phoenix commerce leader says college-educated workers help lure businesses

Jan 7, 2022, 2:00 PM | Updated: 2:35 pm
(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)
(Photo by Takashi Aoyama/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – A Phoenix business leader said his organization is paying attention to the decreasing number of Arizona high school graduates who go on to college.

“One thing that’s going to be important for us is [with] all of these companies … coming in, we need to make sure we’re working with our K-12 system to ensure that kids are coming out college and career-ready,” Todd Sanders, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce, told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Arizona’s Morning News on Friday.

A recent study determined that metro Phoenix had the second-biggest increase in six-figure jobs in the country between 2015 and 2020 at 217%.

The report found metro Phoenix had a total employment of 180,740 in six-figure jobs in 2020, up from 57,000 in 2015, and representing 8.6% of total employment.

Metro Phoenix’s median annual wage across all occupations in 2020 was $41,300, according to the report.

“We have to make sure that we’re preparing kids at the K-12 level … and then getting them into our great state universities because we need that to compete,” Sanders said.

Sanders cited a fall report that showed 46% of Arizona high school graduates in 2020 enrolled in a two- or four-year college.

That number was 52% in 2019, according to the Arizona Board of Regents Postsecondary Attainment report.

Some of the slide could be attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, but “That’s a pretty significant drop-off,” Sanders said, adding, “And we’re trailing the rest of the country in terms of bachelor degrees. The national average is 39%; we’re at 17%.”

Incoming and potential companies will be looking at that, Sanders said – it’s their future workforce.

The chamber will be keeping an eye on reports of the enrollment figures, too.

“That’s something that we’re going to focus on the next 5-10 years,” Sanders said.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

An election worker removes tabulated ballots to be boxed inside the Maricopa County Recorders Offic...
Associated Press

GOP-controlled Cochise County refuses to certify 2022 election

Officials in a rural Arizona county refused Monday to certify the 2022 election ahead of the deadline amid pressure from prominent Republicans to reject a vote count
12 hours ago
(Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Screenshot)...

Watch: Maricopa County meets to canvass 2022 general election

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is meeting to canvass the 2022 general election. The livestreamed meeting includes public comments.
12 hours ago
Drummer Lars Ulrich (L) and frontman James Hetfield of Metallica perform at Allegiant Stadium on Fe...
Kevin Stone

Metallica to invade State Farm Stadium with pair of ‘No Repeat’ shows in 2023

Nothing else will matter for metro Phoenix metalheads next year when Metallica brings a double shot of headbanging to State Farm Stadium.
12 hours ago
(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)...

Man found shot, dead inside car parked on Phoenix street

A man with a gunshot wound was found dead inside a vehicle Sunday in Phoenix and police said they're investigating the case as a homicide.
12 hours ago
(Facebook photo / Phoenix Police Department)...
SuElen Rivera

Interim Phoenix police chief unveils 4-part plan to improve department

Interim Phoenix Police Chief Michael Sullivan announced last week a four-pronged plan to reduce and prevent crime in the city.
12 hours ago
Follow @KTAR923...

Ice skating returns to downtown Phoenix at CityScape

Skaters can waltz around the downtown Phoenix rink as CitySkate returns just in time for the holidays this week.
12 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Here are 4 signs the HVAC unit needs to be replaced

Pool renovations and kitchen upgrades may seem enticing, but at the forefront of these investments arguably should be what residents use the most. In a state where summertime is sweltering, access to a functioning HVAC unit can be critical.
Phoenix commerce leader says college-educated workers help lure businesses