Today we have released a comprehensive update of our foundation report.
This 2017 update provides current information supporting our efforts to expand Washington’s culture of opportunity to all parts of the state.
In 2014, the Opportunity Washington coalition traveled across our state, asking employers and community leaders about what issues mattered most to them and how we could work together to promote shared prosperity. We supplemented their insights with economic and policy research from state and national sources. The resulting report, released in early 2015, served as our roadmap for achieving our collective vision.
That roadmap charted the course based on three priorities: ACHIEVE (education quality and outcomes); CONNECT (transportation reliability and efficiency); and EMPLOY (economic vitality). To mark our state’s progress, we also introduced the Opportunity Scorecard, a 50-state ranking on key performance measures tied to the three priorities.
Our priorities have not changed. But we recognized the need to incorporate new information supporting the priorities and acknowledge policy changes since 2014.
The Spring 2017 Scorecard shows we have considerable room for improvement. Overall, Washington falls four spots to 31st in the 50-state ranking, with an overall Opportunity Score of 69. Our goal is to rank among the top 10 states overall and in each of the three priority categories. We have significant distance to make up in reaching both goals as Washington hovers near the median of states in ACHIEVE and falls deep into the bottom half of states in CONNECT and EMPLOY.
Click through for all the data and to see how we compare with other states.
Those who follow us on social media and read our blog posts and weekly newsletter know we’re data-driven. Correspondingly, we frequently turned to our initial foundation report as a touchstone for assessing public policy proposals. The update keeps that information fresh and relevant.