Our Organization

In the second half of the twentieth century, California emerged as an economic powerhouse, the envy not just of other states but of nations. The future of every Californian is dependent on maintaining that leadership—locally, regionally, and statewide—in an economy that has gone increasingly global. There is a way to secure our future: develop the talent and productivity of Californians through higher education, the keystone of California’s diverse economy.

Our colleges, universities and professional training programs have provided the intellectual and technical know-how to make California a hub of innovation and job creation.  To remain competitive, we must create better pipelines from the opportunity of college and professional training to advancement in good-paying jobs. We can secure a stronger economy by building a talent pool whose creativity, innovation, entrepreneurship and industriousness matches the needs of the 21st century.

California Competes develops non-partisan and financially pragmatic recommendations for improved policies and practices in California higher education. Opportunity, creativity, enterprise, efficiency, and growth are the hallmarks of economic development and the lens through which California Competes helps the state improve postsecondary education in order to drive economic growth and vibrant communities today and tomorrow.

California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy is a project of The Opportunity Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes social mobility and equity by improving outcomes from early childhood through early career. The Opportunity Institute focuses on education, which plays a critical role in opening opportunities, and the related social policies that make true educational opportunity possible.

California Competes receives support from the College Futures Foundation of California, the Rosalinde and Arthur Gilbert Foundation, and the Lumina Foundation.