Starting a New Decade

1836

Happy New Year, Texas!

The dawn of a new year comes with a glow of optimism that Texans recognize. It’s a new beginning — a chance to start fresh, to take on new the challenges, and to step into the future.

This represents a pivotal decade for Texas, one that will help set the direction for our state. It’s incumbent on every Texan to ask where we want our state to go – and to consider the goals we have for this great state we call home.

So how do we work together to ensure our state remains the best place to live?

Ensuring Texas’ continued prosperity means focusing on the future. The next 10 years hinge on Texas’ ability to get the big issues right. That means capitalizing on big opportunities, and solving big challenges, in areas such as education, health care, infrastructure, natural resources, justice & safety and government performance.

It’s no accident that Texas has one of the strongest economies in the world. Generations of leaders have built and sustained a business climate that welcomes investment and innovation; supports things like education, health care and infrastructure that ensure Texas’ future success; and prevents burdensome regulations and high taxes from getting in the way.

That success has spurred great growth, and more is coming. Our state’s population is projected to increase by 10 million people by the time Texas celebrates its bicentennial in 2036. All of those people will want good health care and schools for their families, decent roads, sufficient water supplies … and, of course, a decent job.

But Texas’ past success does not guarantee its future. When it comes to sustaining an economy that ensures opportunity for every Texan, our state has a lot of advantages. But there’s always more that Texans can do to prepare for the future.

Texas 2036 supports long-term strategies and investments that will help extend Texas’ prosperity and ensure this remains a place where great ideas thrive and the brightest minds want to work.

Texas 2036 is intentionally and unapologetically nonpartisan. We will work closely with elected leaders, no matter their party, to craft policies that look beyond the short-term urgency of politics, the headlines of the day or periodic polls. We want to help Texas take a longer view, preparing for the needs, opportunities and challenges we know are coming down the road — no matter who happens to be in office.

This long-term focus requires actionable, credible data. The Texas 2036 team has spent significant time over the last couple of years building data sets that will help Texas leaders, and the people they represent, know what is coming and prepare for it. This data will provide a foundation for consensus-driven solutions that support Texas’ continued economic growth.

For example, there is no better driver for job creation than a well-educated workforce with diverse skills. Yet there is plenty of work to do to ensure Texas has the robust workforce needed to attract high-quality jobs. By 2036, more than 77 percent of jobs will require a college degree or certificate — but right now, only 28 percent of Texas 8th graders complete a postsecondary degree or certificate within six years of high school graduation. Our state cannot continue its economic success without significant improvements in educational performance and attainment. And by making those improvements, Texas can extend our prosperity to the next generation — and the generations after that — while allowing more Texans to partake in it.

Our mission is ambitious, but so are Texans. That’s why Texas 2036 wants to engage with as many people as possible. In 2020, we will develop and release strategies and recommendations for meeting the state’s future demands, and we will engage as many Texans as possible to help refine them and make them a reality.

Texas is a place of big dreams and endless possibilities. We have a storied past and a proud present. It’s up to all of us to create an even brighter future.

At the dawn of this new decade, it’s time to get started.

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