Boosting College Completion has developed a policy profile for New Hampshire based on an analysis of data and policies related to college completion and workforce development.
New Hampshire Policy Profile
New Hampshire is a unique state with a highly productive postsecondary education system, a college completion rate ranking in the top five and median incomes outpaced by only a few states. On the other end, the state’s workforce is aging, young college graduates are leaving the state and a substantial proportion of the population that remains is underprepared for the knowledge economy. In this environment, greater alignment between postsecondary productivity and workforce demand could sustain economic growth and improve individual incomes.
By leveraging postsecondary investments more effectively and by aligning higher education capacity with specific workforce needs, the state’s economy could grow faster than currently projected. Conversely, failing to respond to workforce demands in high-growth industries, such as STEM, pharmaceuticals and healthcare, could compound the challenges brought about by an aging and increasingly underprepared workforce. As New Hampshire considers efforts to increase postsecondary participation among older adults, the legislature might evaluate:
- The impact of state and postsecondary system policies on increasing postsecondary attainment for the adult population
- Incentives for adults earning below a livable wage to enroll in and complete certificate and degree programs
- Current and projected workforce demand, focusing on two priorities: immediate training of low-skill adults displaced by the recession and retaining bachelor’s degree holders by better matching postsecondary programs with workforce demand
- More effective coordination between public and private postsecondary sectors to define and address workforce challenges.