Capturing Washington’s $450 Million “Talent Dividend”

Local Leaders to Convene, Develop Strategies for Capturing Washington’s $450 Million “Talent Dividend”

Contact: Julia Klaiber
CEOs for Cities

May 3, 2010

WASHINGTON, DC—In a push to increase the city’s college attainment rate, Washington’s business and civic leaders will gather at the invitation of the Washington, DC Economic Partnership today as part of the national CEOs for Cities Talent Dividend Tour.

“If you want to know how well your city is doing when it comes to economic development, there is only one figure you need to know: the percentage of your population who have four-year degrees,” said Carol Coletta, President and CEO of CEOs for Cities. “The research on this is unassailable. The more talented your city is, the better off it will be. Developing talent from within is an imperative for urban leaders who want their cities to thrive in the knowledge economy.”

Washington would see an additional $450 million pumped into its economy annually simply by increasing the percentage of people with four-year degrees by just one percentage point – from 47.3 percent to 48.3 percent – according to analysis by CEOs for Cities, a national network of urban leaders.

“DeVry is pleased to be sponsoring the Talent Dividend Tour because we believe so strongly in education as a key driver of economic development,” said Sharon Thomas Parrott, senior vice president at DeVry Inc. “While expanding college attainment rates may seem daunting it is critical to our nation’s long-term economic well being. And we have found that increasing educational innovation and promoting flexible learning opportunities can help students at all levels succeed.”

That’s because per capita income and college attainment rates are closely correlated. In fact, 58 percent of a city’s success, as defined by per capital income, is explained by the proportion of its population with a four-year college degree.

Raising the national median of the top 51 metro areas from 29.4 percent to 30.4 percent would yield an increase in income of $124 billion per year for the nation.

The Talent Dividend Tour is a national tour underwritten by the Lumina Foundation for Education with additional support from DeVry Inc., a global provider of educational services. Other tour stops have included Memphis, Atlanta, Chattanooga, Cincinnati, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Stamford, Pittsburgh, Billings, Indianapolis, Richmond, Detroit, Miami, Dallas, Cleveland, Seattle, San Jose, Denver, Tulsa, Baltimore, Houston, Jackson, Phoenix, San Diego, Oakland and Tampa.

The research behind the Talent Dividend is part of a larger body of work by CEOs for Cities called The City Dividends, which calculates the monetary value of: increasing college attainment rates by one percentage point (Talent Dividend); decreasing vehicle miles traveled per person per day by one mile (Green Dividend); and decreasing poverty rates by one percentage point (Opportunity Dividend).

About CEOs for Cities
CEOs for Cities is a national network of urban leaders dedicated to building and sustaining the next generation of great American cities. We support the development of next generation cities by:

  • Identifying first-look trends and opportunities that represent the best opportunities for cities and the people who live in them to succeed
  • Connecting urban leaders to powerful ideas and each other
  • Articulating the value to cities and the nation of improving performance on key urban success measures
  • Mobilizing new urban activists to execute real change in cities
  • Telling powerful stories about the potential of cities to solve our most pressing problems

CEOs for Cities works with its network partners to develop great cities that excel in the areas most critical to urban success: talent, connections, innovation and distinctiveness. For more information, visit

About Devry Inc.
DeVry’s purpose is to empower its students to achieve their educational and career goals. DeVry (NYSE: DV, member S&P 500 Index) is a global provider of educational services and the parent organization of Advanced Academics, Apollo College, Becker Professional Education, Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry Brasil, DeVry University, Ross University Schools of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, and Western Career College. These institutions offer a wide array of programs in business, healthcare and technology and serve students in secondary through postsecondary education as well as accounting and finance professionals. For more information, please call 630.353.3800 or visit

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