On behalf of The Silicon Valley Organization (The SVO), we are writing to support the California State University’s (CSU) funding request for the 2018-19 fiscal year. By way of background, we are the Silicon Valley’s premier business advocacy organization representing 1,400+ companies that employ nearly 300,000 workers and we represent our membership as the region’s largest Chamber of Commerce.

Silicon Valley’s economic success and growth continues to the envy of the world. Our region’s transformation can largely be attributed to a major resource that has continued to fuel Silicon Valley’s innovation economy – talent and a highly skilled workforce. Our region’s innovation economy is a major economic engine for the State of California. To that end, a major obstacle to this economic growth is the lack of a highly skilled workforce and the inability to recruit valuable talent to grow businesses.

CSU continues to play an important role in supplying much needed talent by awarding 51% of engineering, 43% of nursing, 50% of business, and 41% of life science bachelor’s degrees in the state each year. CSU is constantly being asked to do more to grow the state’s skilled workforce, with diminishing resources. It is time for the State of California to invest in the continued success of our public university systems, to ensure that the CSU system has the resources to support students and produce a high quality workforce that will power both California and the United States economy. Under the initial budget proposal, CSU will only receive a 1.4% funding increase from last year’s budget, which falls $171 million short of CSU’s original appropriation request.

The SVO supports the CSU initial appropriation request. We hope that you will support excellent, world-class public universities and continue prioritizing higher education in your budget negotiations in the months to come.

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