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Young Talent
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Arizona’s long-term success depends on the contributions of all our young people.


Arizona is “the place to be” for the next generation of doers, makers, thinkers and innovators to advance their lives and communities.


Process & Next Steps

In order to ensure Arizona is a place where young people thrive and build their future, the Center for the Future of Arizona is committed to listening and understanding the perspectives of young people across the state. Throughout 2018, CFA hosted 12 focus groups with 100 young people with a target of ages 18-39.  The groups represented diverse, statewide communities.  Young people were asked what brought them to Arizona, what keeps them here and what might cause them to move away from Arizona. The results produced individual stories about young Arizonans.  The stories were content-analyzed, and specific metrics focused on young talent are under development. Current themes that have emerged from these discussions include an emphasis on the following types of issues:

  • Quality of Public Transit
  • Rural/Urban Access to Broadband
  • Ratio of Counselors to Students in Arizona High Schools
  • Investment in Education
  • Reputation of Arizona Colleges and Universities 
  • Retention of College Graduates over Time 
  • Availability of Affordable, Workforce Housing 
  • Cost of Living 
  • Extent of Substance Abuse 
  • Diversity of Arizona’s Population
  • Health of Arizona’s Nonprofits 

The Young Talent metrics will continue to be refined and shaped in the year ahead as we continue in dialogue with communities about their key priorities and aspirations for the future of the state.




Students in Arizona’s schools to guidance counselor ratio

An important factor in supporting young people to pursuing post-high school degrees or certificates is the amount of guidance they receive prior to graduation. School counselors can support this goal, however, Arizona has the highest student-to-counselor ratio in the United States.

Source: American School Counselor Association 2015-2016


Of Arizona’s undergraduate degree holders remain in Arizona after 10 years

Immediately upon graduation from our state universities about 80% of Arizona’s young people remain to start their careers, though less than half remain two decades after graduation.

Source: Arizona Board of Regents



The Arizona We Want
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