PATH TO 70 UPDATE: Projected Credential Attainment Decline Demands Bold Action

In 2016, the Washington Roundtable set a goal: 70% of Washington students—overall and within each racial and ethnic community—will complete a postsecondary credential by age 26. This goal reflects the workforce needs of Washington employers and national and state data projecting that at least 70% of jobs in our state will be filled by workers who complete a credential, such as a degree, apprenticeship, or industry-aligned certificate or license.

New data analysis indicates that nearly a third of the progress made toward the goal since the high school class of 2006 was wiped out during the pandemic. The estimated credential attainment rate for the high school class of 2021 is 40%—three percentage points lower than the class of 2019 and 30 points below the goal.

Three key headlines emerge from the report:

  • Washington’s high school graduation rate continued to improve.
  • Projected postsecondary enrollment of high school graduates from the high school class of 2021 is down 10 percentage points compared to enrollment of the class of 2019.
  • Projected postsecondary completion for high school graduates is up 1 point compared to the pre-pandemic level and 8 points compared to the class of 2006.

The way forward demands bold action. Read our latest report for key insights and a path toward progress.  Learn more.

A conversation with the new Washington Roundtable members

The Washington Roundtable recently welcomed new members to our board. Get to know Brian McGuigan, CEO of Laird Norton Company; Chad Robins, CEO, Co-founder, and Chairman of the Board for Adaptive Biotechnologies; Jeremy Lott, President and CEO of SanMar; and Jim Morehead, President of Bank of America Seattle.

Why did you decide to join the Washington Roundtable?

BM: My predecessor as CEO of Laird Norton Company, Jeff Vincent, speaks very highly of the Washington Roundtable as a valuable and effective link between the business community and state legislators. I strongly agree. This is an essential business-to-government communications process. Further, I look forward to getting to know the other members of the Washington Roundtable who represent some of the state’s most impressive organizations.

CR: Adaptive Biotechnologies is a company headquartered in Washington State and we are committed to advancing the economic and social well-being of our communities. It is within our power to solve our state’s problems and create a path toward prosperity and equity, but we can only do that by working together. Joining the Washington Roundtable is an opportunity to collaborate with other business leaders in the state to do that.

JL: As a lifelong Washington resident and business owner, I am deeply committed to the mission of the Roundtable, effecting positive change that supports the state’s economic vitality and fosters opportunity for all Washingtonians.

JM: Washington has been my home for 20+ years, and I want to be part of efforts to strengthen our communities. Bank of America has been working to advance racial equality and economic opportunity for many years, by focusing on how we and our partners can connect people to good jobs, ensuring access to adequate health care and capital to grow their small business, and providing a solid base of affordable housing. By supporting organizations like the Roundtable, we seek out opportunities to deliver for our clients and communities by trusting our partners to direct resources where they are needed most, which often includes capacity building, staffing investments, and resource acquisition.

Can you comment on the role the business community can and should play in our state through the work done via organizations like the Roundtable?

BM: Business must communicate effectively with state and local government. We live and work in volatile economic times. Change happens quickly. Business leaders must keep our political leaders up to date on what is needed to assure that Washington’s businesses and industries will continue to have a robust opportunity for success.

CR: As a company dedicated to improving human health, we believe that the business community has an important role to play in supporting the health of our communities. It is also in the interests of all businesses to operate in communities where people are happy and fulfilled. This fact is critical to one of the life sciences industry’s biggest challenges: developing, retaining, and attracting talent. As beneficiaries of healthy communities, we have an obligation to participate in making our communities healthy.

JL: I truly believe that businesses can and should be a force for good in the communities where we operate. When business leaders join together on important issues, we can leverage the strength of our combined voices to influence action and enact change.

JM: The business community can bring innovative thinking and energy to important conversations about policies that improve the well-being of all Washingtonians. Workforce development is important to us and to the local economy because advancing economic mobility – enabling individuals to achieve their goals and contribute to economic growth – is how we collectively build a more sustainable future.

One of the Roundtable’s biggest areas of focus is working to ensure more young Washingtonians complete the post-high school credentials that our state’s economy demands. Why is it important to you to participate in efforts to ensure students’ success in their education and careers?

BM: An appropriately educated and trained workforce is the backbone of our economy. So, as a business leader, I am very interested in work that seeks to strengthen and increase the number of highly trained workers. More personally, I was brought up in a home that put a high value on education and was fortunate to have wonderful educational opportunities that quite literally changed my life. I would like to believe that Roundtable and Partnership for Learning can be part of creating life-changing educational opportunities for young people in Washington.

CR: At Adaptive Biotechnologies, we believe that education is the foundation for a successful and fulfilling career. It is also foundational to building a strong, talented, and diverse workforce and a more prosperous and equitable future for all Washingtonians.

Our company hires many people with highly specialized skills and knowledge, often requiring years of postsecondary education and training. We are committed to supporting efforts to ensure that all students in our state have access to the educational opportunities they need to succeed in their chosen careers.

JL: It is critical that we have a workforce with the skills necessary for the challenges our business faces today and in the future. Our continued growth in Washington depends on the next generation of young people prepared for the workforce of tomorrow and I believe that is best served through completing post-high school credential programs.

JM: The strength and vitality of our state and its future depend on a healthy economy and engaged citizens, which require young people to have access to education and promising career pathways. We assist partners like the Technology Access Foundation in their mission to provide collaborative, equitable learning for all students, as well as Career Connect Washington in their mission to provide practical, real-world experiences to young workers. We also support the Seattle Colleges Foundation and the Aerospace Machinists Joint Training Committee in their quest to provide trade and manufacturing pre-apprenticeship training for low-income youth and adult job seekers.


Welcome New Roundtable Members!

We are thrilled to welcome five new members to the Washington Roundtable board: Jeremy Lott, President and CEO of SanMar; Brian McGuigan, CEO of Laird Norton Company; Jim Morehead, President of Bank of America Seattle and Market Executive of Global Commercial Banking: Chad Robins, CEO, Co-founder, and Chairman of the Board for Adaptive Biotechnologies; and Kerri Schroeder, Region Manager of the Pacific Northwest for JP Morgan Chase. These members bring decades of leadership experience that will greatly serve our board as we tackle some of the biggest challenges facing Washington. Welcome aboard!


Jeremy Lott

Jeremy leads the country’s largest supplier of imprintable apparel with the same values that have guided the company since it was founded in 1971: Be Nice and Tell the Truth. Today, SanMar employs more than 5,000 people across the United States and around the world, as well as more than 15,000 people in its Central American manufacturing joint venture. Under Jeremy’s leadership, SanMar has been recognized as a Deloitte US Best Managed Company and the 2022 Puget Sound Business Journal Family Business of the Year.

Previously, Jeremy worked in investment banking at Piper Jaffray. He received his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and his BBA from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University.


Brian McGuigan

Brian became the CEO of Laird Norton Company (LNC) in January 2023. He joined LNC in 2012 as Manager of Corporate Investments to build the company’s corporate development function. He went on to serve LNC in roles of growing responsibility over the course of the next decade.

Prior to joining LNC, Brian was President and Chief Compliance Officer of Stonnington Group, a wealth management firm in Los Angeles, where Brian combined operational and investment responsibilities that included origination, execution, and oversight of a range of private markets investments including direct investments in early-stage technology and consumer companies.

Earlier in his career, he worked in technology consulting in the UK and Europe. Brian received a BS in chemical engineering from the University of Cape Town and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business.


Jim Morehead

Jim serves as Market Executive for the Western Washington & Pacific Rim market for Global Commercial Banking at Bank of America. He oversees Middle Market banking teams that deliver commercial and investment banking products and solutions to companies with revenues of $50 million to $2 billion. In addition, Jim is the Market President for Seattle, leading efforts to connect Seattle businesses, families, and individuals to the bank. Jim joined Bank of America in 2016 after more than 20 years with GE where he held senior leadership roles.

During his 20+ years in the Pacific Northwest, Jim has also served in leadership roles for many Seattle area not-for-profit organizations and currently serves on the Boards of the Seattle Chamber of Commerce and Special Olympics of Washington. He earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and computer science from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, and an MBA from the University of Washington, Foster School of Business.


Chad Robbins

Chad Robins is the chief executive officer and co-founder of Adaptive Biotechnologies, a commercial stage biotechnology company that aims to translate the genetics of the adaptive immune system into clinical products to diagnose and treat disease.

Chad has led Adaptive in building a proprietary immune medicine platform that fuels businesses across life sciences research, clinical diagnostics, and drug discovery. In 2019, Chad guided the company through its initial public offering, which was one of the year’s most successful biotech IPOs. Prior to Adaptive, Chad held executive-level positions in real estate, investment banking, private equity, and medical technology. Chad graduated with honors from Cornell University and obtained his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Kerri Schroeder

Kerri is the Region Manager of the Middle Market banking group serving the Pacific Northwest and a member of the JP Morgan Chase market leadership team. She joined JP Morgan Chase in January 2023. Before joining JP Morgan Chase, Kerri worked at Bank of America for 23 years. Most recently, she served as President of Bank of America Seattle where she led the bank’s strategy across the Puget Sound region.

Kerri currently serves on the board of the Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce; is board secretary of Evergreen Goodwill Industries; serves on the executive committee member of Greater Seattle Partners, and the board of the Washington Bankers Association. She was recognized by Puget Sound Business Journal as a Woman of Influence in 2020 and as one of the “Power 100” in 2019, 2020, and 2022. Kerri holds a B.A. in Economics from Pacific Lutheran University.

A conversation with Roundtable Member Mark Mitchke


1. Why did you decide to join the Washington Roundtable?

Washington state has been my home for nearly 30 years, and I value the opportunity to be part of leadership efforts to strengthen our communities and our economy. I believe employers have an important role to play in driving economic prosperity and opportunity for everyone in our state. Washington Roundtable provides a forum to join other business leaders and advocate for strong and equitable education systems, a safe and efficient transportation network, and an economic climate that makes our state a great place to live and do business.

2. Can you comment on the role the business community can and should play in our state through the work done via organizations like the Roundtable?

The business community can be a catalyst for positive change,  and can bring innovative thinking, active listening, and energy to important conversations about policies that improve the well-being of all Washingtonians. Organizations like the Roundtable leverage the collective experience and expertise of employers to help advance critical conversions and move Washington in a shared direction.

3. One of the Roundtable’s biggest areas of focus is working to ensure more young Washingtonians complete the post-high school credentials that our state’s economy demands. Why is it important to you to participate in efforts to ensure students’ success in their education and careers?

The healthcare community – including oral health/dentistry – plays a huge role in the vitality of our state, and our people are our greatest asset. As is broadly true in healthcare, dentistry needs diverse and talented employees across all levels of expertise and experience, from dental assistants and hygienists to doctors. In 2022, 71% of dental practices in Washington reported exceptionally long vacancies for open hygienist positions and 61% reported the same for open dental assistant positions. I am looking forward to working with other business leaders to make sure all Washington students have equitable access to great education and credentialing opportunities that will enable them to experience career success in the future.

4. For possible Roundtable/PFL communications efforts in the future, does your company provide internships and/or other career-connected learning opportunities for Washington students?

Yes, we offer internship opportunities annually for college students that are interested in working with us to define innovative solutions to improve the oral health of all Washingtonians.