5 steps to economic prosperity in your state

Our most challenging problem . . .

The ECONOMY is the most important issue confronting national and leaders today. Unfortunately, most states—probably yours included—are struggling to maintain positive growth and economic ranking versus other states.  However, as states maintain status quo, we are all in a steady decline in international competitiveness.  Some leaders recognize the underlying root cause, and beginning to take action now. 

Misalignment of jobs to qualified workers.
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America’s #1 Problem

  • Virtually every state’s #1 problem is the inability to drive consistent economic growth, and may not have the comprehensive solutions that ensure they can reverse this trend. 
  • Increasingly, state leaders are recognizing that their state’s economy is fragile and there is a potential downward spiral rooted in a huge mismatch between future jobs and available skilled candidates.
  • By 2020, there could be a projected 73 million unfilled highly paid, highly skilled jobs.  And, leaders are beginning to recognize the inability of our educational institutions to produce highly educated skilled graduates. Most of our present and future college grads will not be qualified for these jobs. 

Math proficiency ranking of U.S. states and nations by Harvard University.
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The negative effect on each state’s employer needs and growth will continue on the downward pressure on GSP-Gross State Product.

Just one example:  U.S. students fall behind 31 countries in math proficiency and behind 16 countries in reading proficiency, a problem that could cost the country $75 trillion over 80 years. 

Harvard University’s report, “Globally Challenged: Are U.S. Students Ready to Compete?” concluded the U.S. could increase GDP growth per capita by enhancing its students' math skills. According to the report, over an 80-year period, gains from increasing the percentage of proficient students to Canadian or Korean levels could yield $75 trillion, and increase the annual U.S. growth rate by 0.9 percentage points and 1.3 percentage points, respectively. Since long-term average annual growth rates hover between 2 and 3 percentage points, that increment would lift growth rates by between 30 and 50 percent.

Reality check:  from 2000 to 2008, China graduated 1.14 million people in science, technology, engineering and math compared with 496,000 in the United States. More about this from UPI.

And what if we could improve in all the other education results?


DLA Value Proposition

The Digital Learning Alliance (DLA) can virtually GUARANTEE reversing your state’s economic trends when you follow our Economic Development Business Model.  

How can DLA make this claim?

Here’s proof: 

 Utah has enjoyed a thriving business climate for more than 20 years.

Utah has enjoyed a thriving business climate for more than 20 years.

    DLA leaders are the original architects of the nation’s #1 state economic success story: Utah. 

  • It began 23 years ago, in 1990, with a plan to grow Utah’s economy. Look at this partial list of national economic growth awards that have been accumulated over more than two decades
  • Utah has been virtually unfazed by the Great Recession. Utah has grown in high tech and health industry, employer in-migration, employment, and leads the nation in virtually every desired financial and economic category. 
#1 Best of Business (1990) - Fortune Magazine
 #1 Economic Outlook Rank (2007-2012) - ALEC
 #1 Best States for Business (2010-12) - Forbes
 #1 Pro-Business State (2012) - Pollina
 #1 Best Managed State in the Nation (2008) - Pew Center
 #2 The Next Boom States (2012) - U.S. Chamber of Commerce
 #1 Economic Dynamism (2012) - The 2012 State New Economy Index
 #1 Tech Concentration and Dynamism (2008, 10, 12)

Utah Digital Learning Report Card Grade “A”
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  •  One of the reasons Utah has succeeded in economic growth is because of the focus on technological infrastructure to support industry, government and education.

  •  For 23 years, Utah has recognized that one of the key components to workforce development is digital learning, for existing students and existing workers.  It is the ONLY solution to immediately bridge the gap in declining student outcomes and workforce alignment.  Utah is the only state in the entire U.S. to earn a Grade A from the Digital Learning Council, founded by Governors Jeb Bush (Florida) and Bob Wise (West Virginia).

Declining Economic Spiral
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Telltale Signs That Your State is Already in a Declining Economic Spiral


Economic development model.
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What is the DLA Solution for Economic Development? 

1. Leaders need to understand what economic development really is

For over 2 decades, t

he top 3 critical success factors have been: 

  1. Skilled Workforce
  2. Quality Education
  3. Research & Development

We can no longer let education continue as usual. EDUCATION is your state’s #1, #2, and #3 key economic development driver . . . or inhibitor. 

2. Education can’t pivot fast enough to keep us competitive

Student outcomes flatlining. From NAEP Nation’s Report Card.
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ACT College Readiness Chart.
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Public Ed

Share of the world’s college graduates.
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Higher Ed

  • Declining in international competitiveness
    Report: “The Competition That Really Matters,” from The Center for American Progress
  • Skilled workforce development and higher education priorities are at cross purposes
  • Virtually no focus on largest skilled worker candidates . . . the existing workforce attempting to upgrade their skills and earnings

3. Funding is not the solution

The rise of long-term unemployment.
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4. Our future workforce must also come from our existing workforce

5. You can reverse your state’s trend by adopting the Utah model:

  • Why reinvent the wheel? The Utah model is proven to create successful economic programs.

Per pupil expenditures.
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6. Technology is key

  • The US leads the world in use for technology to keep our key industries competitive.  Visibly absent is education.  Integrating many of these new technological advances are the foundation for significantly reversing these lack luster outcomes in student performance, career preparation, and employment.
  • Compare estimated per-pupil expenditures for online and blended learning. Blog post from the non-profit, Intellectual Takeout.
 Utah State Senator Howard Stephenson

7. State legislatures are KEY DRIVERS in making significant change

  • Utah State Senator Howard Stephenson, one of the original architects of the successful Utah Model will tell you that “State legislators have a constitutional mandate to support education.” 
  • Senator Stephenson has been a state senator in Utah since 1992, advocating for the increased use of digital learning tools by students, teachers, and parents. He serves in education leadership positions in the Utah Senate and nationally with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), National Conference of State Legislators (NCSL), and Education Commission of the States (ECS).

DLA legislative roadmap.
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8. DLA has the proven legislator ROADMAP

  • Apply what’s worked in Utah to your state and expect successful economic programs

9. Engage with DLA 

  • They have experienced and passionate leadership:

DLA President Dane Goodfellow and DLA Board Member Dick Bradford started the Utah economic model in the 1990s.

“Dick Bradford and Dane Goodfellow were the key early architects of the Utah model and are passionate about supporting other states in economic development. What they didn’t know then was that they were preparing Utah to be the trend-setter for economic development. I recommend all legislators focused on workforce development and student outcomes take advantage of DLA’s support.”

— Utah State Senator Howard Stephenson

 “I worked with Dane Goodfellow on economic development initiatives with Gov. Bangerter and Gov. Leavitt to support the Utah economic model.  Dane is one of the founders and visionaries in the educational technology industry. The Utah ‘model’ works.”

— Buzz Waterhouse, CEO of McGraw-Hill Education

The Door Is Closing

DLA is engaging now with key state legislators to provide support for successful 2014 legislation. Your commitment is needed now to join this movement that can impact progressive changes in your state economy and for your key stakeholders-students, parents, worker, employers, and educators.