40-40-20 was originally created to drive Oregon’s economic prosperity. As the system designed to prepare students for the workforce and their future, we use 40-40-20 to set goals for educational attainment that are aligned with workforce needs. For our purposes, 40-40-20 is not just about statewide prosperity but of individual, student prosperity as well. It is about building the kind of seamless system that ensures each and every one of our students has every opportunity to be successful.
In 2013, the Oregon Legislature passed House Bill 3232, providing additional funding for career and college readiness programs and activities, to foster 21st century career skills and expand access for student populations that have historically been underserved and underrepresented. Since this legislature others have followed to foster more programs to support the initiatives including recent 2015 House Bills 2681, 3308, 2525 and 2015 Senate Bills 81 and 418. These bills have gone so far as to declare a state of emergency regarding the seriousness of unpreparedness and unawareness of our young adults.
One strategy for meeting this goal is to strengthen and expand Oregon’s emphasis on career and industry introduction and certification. A critical component of this Initiative is strong collaboration and shared vision among education providers, business and industry, student-focused nonprofits, government, informal education providers, parents and students. The goal is to offer youth 14-25 a wider perspective and greater perception of attainable opportunity.