The Council of State Governments - WEST


June 12, 2013

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July 30 - August 2, 2013

Las Vegas, Nevada

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College Completion: Where Does Your State Stand?

 By Deborah Zavala, CSG-WEST Higher Education Coordinator


College students across the country over the next few weeks will be graduating and receiving their diplomas. Unfortunately, not everyone graduates in the United States. Almost 30 percent of college students leave college without receiving a degree and do not return to complete their college education within six years.


In March 2009, President Obama proposed the American Graduation Initiative, which established the goal that by 2020 the United States will regain its position as the nation with the highest percentage of its population holding post-secondary degrees and credentials. Today, 38% of young adults, ages 25-34, in the U.S. currently have an associate's degree or higher, making the U.S. number 10 among Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. (OECD, Education at a Glance, 2009)


The need for higher-skilled employees is increasing, yet the United States is not producing enough workers with a college degree to meet the growing demand. In 1973 72% of jobs (65.5 million out of 91 million jobs) didn't require a college education. By 2018, only 38% of jobs (63 million out of 166 million jobs) won't require at least some college. Despite a growing workforce, the number of jobs for non-college educated individuals has remained constant at about 65 millions jobs. (Georgetown University)


Each year until 2025, at least 800,000 more college students must complete their degrees to meet the needs of the workforce for high-skilled employees. Earning a post-secondary degree or credential has become a prerequisite for many of the new employment opportunities. In just five years, 62% of all new jobs will require a college education. Will your state be ready


The task of increasing the number of people with a post-secondary degree, certification, or credential attainment is not going to be easy, but is one of the most important challenges today. Policy makers play a key role in making this happen, and can assist in developing and monitoring agendas that are in support of this priority.


Click here to see where your state stands with college completion rates


For additional reading:

This is the third in a series of short issue briefs that CSG-WEST will be publishing throughout the year. The issue briefs will cover a variety of topics. If you have a suggestion for a topic, feel free to send your ideas to


Congratulations to the 2013 Western Toll Fellows!

This week CSG announced this year's Henry Toll Fellowship Class. It was a very competitive field of applicants. From the West the following individuals were selected:


Issac Choy  
Hawaii Representative
Mo Denis
Nevada Senate Majority Floor Leader
Brian Ebbert
Assistant Chief Clerk/Parliamentarian, Office of the Chief Clerk, California State Assembly
H. Brent Hill
Idaho Senate President Pro Tempore

Georgene Louis
New Mexico Representative

Linda Newell
Colorado Senator

Lance Pruitt
Alaska House Majority Leader

Tick Segerblom
Nevada Senator
Jeffrey Thompson
Idaho Representative
Mary Throne
Wyoming House Minority Floor Leader
Nan Waller
Presiding Judge, Multnomah County Circuit Court, Oregon Judicial Department
Sharon Wylie
Washington Representative

Click here to learn more about the CSG Henry Toll Fellowship Program

2014 Officers Election at CSG-WEST Annual Meeting

The CSG-WEST Nominating Committee will convene at the 66th Annual Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, July 30 to interview candidates for the position of CSG-WEST Vice Chair to succeed to the Chair position in 2016.  


The Nominating Committee will submit a slate of officers for the consideration of the CSG-WEST Executive Committee on the afternoon of Friday, August 2, as part of the business meeting agenda. 


CSG-WEST Election Eligibility Requirements and Guidelines

  • As provided by the CSG-WEST Rules, candidates must be legislators and must be members of the CSG-WEST Executive Committee.
  • As provided by the CSG-WEST Rules, the Nominating Committee will rotate officer selection among political parties and will seek balance in legislative chambers and sub-regions of the West.  This year, the Nominating Committee will be interviewing Republican legislators.  

Click here to download the vice chair application.
For more information about the role of vice chair contact CSG-WEST Executive Director Edgar Ruiz at 916-553-4423 or

The mission of CSG-WEST is to facilitate regional, nonpartisan cooperation and exchange of information, and to strengthen legislative institutions among our 13 member states. These services are achieved through a variety of programs and services offered to legislators and their staff, including the convening of policy forums, professional development training, international relations opportunities, publications and institutional links with other political entities in the West.

CSG-WEST serves the Western legislatures of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Associate members include the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia and the Pacific islands of American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam.