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Center Issues

Access & Completion

Employment projections show that the majority of job growth will occur in occupations that require a postsecondary vocational certificate or academic degree. Yet despite the need for skills upgrading and postsecondary credentials in a globalized economy, low-income adults are generally underrepresented in community colleges and other higher education programs within states.

Aligning Early Learning and K-12 Reforms

The NGA Center Education Division is helping governors and their advisors better align their ECE and K-12 reform efforts, especially during the years between birth and third grade, when children need to develop a strong foundation for future success.

Alternative Fuels

The U.S. transportation sector is 97 percent reliant on oil, 60 percent of which is imported. By 2030, with demand continuing to grow, the nation will import nearly four million more barrels of petroleum per day. This leaves the nation vulnerable to supply interruptions, which can lead to price fluctuations, economic instability, increased greenhouse gas emissions and hardship for consumers.

Arts & the Economy

Governors are increasingly incorporating arts and cultural exchanges into their economic development approaches. Many states have invested in the arts as a strategy to attract the "creative class" and reverse “brain drain.”

Building Energy Strategies

Buildings consume more energy than any other sector of the U.S. economy and account for 73 percent of national electricity consumption, 40 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions and large amounts of on-site fuel use.

Carbon Capture & Sequestration

The United States relies on coal to provide more than 50 percent of the country’s electricity needs, and this percentage is projected to increase by 2030. However, current and future environmental constraints make it likely that coal-fired electricity must emit fewer CO2 emissions to remain viable. Carbon capture and geologic sequestration/storage (CCS) offers one potential option for continuing the use of coal, while addressing emissions concerns.

Child Welfare

To ensure the safety of vulnerable children, state leadership is essential to mobilize the resources and efforts of critical public and private stakeholders. Governors can communicate a vision of shared responsibility for child safety and well-being that begins with the state child welfare agency but ultimately engages many family- and child-serving agencies.

Clean Energy & Economic Development

Governors from across the country are looking at ways they can help foster a clean energy sector in their state economies. They see an opportunity to spur economic growth, make their companies more competitive, and lower energy costs for their citizens. At the same time, they are looking to create a cleaner environment, diversify their energy resources, and reduce dependence on oil imports.

Clean Energy Financing

Many clean energy efforts face high upfront capital costs that serve as barriers to reaping longer term energy savings and environmental and economic development benefits. In the past, efforts to address these barriers have come through rebate and grant programs.

Cleanup of the Nuclear Weapons Complex

State agencies and officials play an important role in the design and enforcement of site cleanup across the nuclear weapons complex. The nuclear weapons complex involves 23 sites in 14 states, but potentially impacts all states, as states may border a site in a nearby state or be impacted by the transport of waste between sites. In 1992, Congress passed the Federal Facilities Compliance Act (FFCA), which established new roles for the federal government and states in the cleanup mission.