facts & figures 

If we provide more reasons for staying engaged in education, the state will be rewarded with higher graduation rates and lower rates of unemployment. When students have opportunities to apply their education to issues of concern to them in communities, these students persist with their education and learn how education is applied to finding solutions and mitigating challenges. The very skills that civic engagement develops in students are the same skills that enable employees to thrive in the workplace, so this investment of time is not just about staying in school; it’s not just about giving back to communities and serving others; it’s about getting ahead in the job search and


“We have a specific population of students building “in demand” skills on our college campuses, particularly those that are part of the New Jersey Campus Compact (NJCC) presidents’ coalition. NJCC member campuses develop numerous ways to connect these students with local communities through volunteer civic engagement, and these campuses use NJCC to share and replicate these efforts. These local communities become the students’ “mission zones”. Now we need to tie the students to the employers in the “mission zones” in order to retain the students in their local communities.”
- Michele Siekerka, President of New Jersey Business and Industries Association


What becomes immediately apparent when we place next to one another the skills developed from high quality community engagement and 21st workplace skills is the incredible similarity between the two. The following table was developed in a 2013 publication by the Connecticut Campus Compact Student Advisory Council showing a clear overlap in skills sought and skills developed.

Skills developed from high quality community engagement and 21st workplace skills


To understand the relationship between education and employment in New Jersey, the state’s ambitious 65 by 25 initiative shows that New Jerseyans can double their income if they go from a high school diploma to a BA, and the state can reduce unemployment by half at the same time. Specifically, those with a high school diploma not only have a 7.5% unemployment rate and an average salary for those working full-time of $31,719. This is compared with unemployment rate for those with a Bachelor’s degree of only 4% and a salary of $60,935.

Lumina Foundation shows, for 2017:
•  The state average postsecondary credentials of 50.2% average
• A further 14.2% have some college and would benefit from opportunities to stay engaged
• Another 26.5% graduated highschool but didn’t enter college and would benefit from gaining awareness and experience of being on a campus and seeing a pathway for themselves and
others similar culturally

The relationship between education and employment in New Jersey

Disparities by race exist that civic engagement actively plays a role in mitigating

This is because volunteering to serve on issues of concern automatically is of interest to all races and
experiences. Different cultures and experiences ARE VITAL to these efforts to build toward change and
equality. As it stands in New Jersey, postsecondary credentials by race show:

• 24.4% Hispanic
• 31.2% African Americans
• 42% Native American
• 52.8% White
• 75.5% Asian and Pacific Islander

These 2 slides are from Lumina 

Together, these measures and the work of partners around the state of New Jersey, will see a new generation of civic minded credentialed people from all walks of life, from all cultures and backgrounds, primed for prosperity right here in New Jersey.