Cyrus Habib

Lieutenant Governor

WA

Pro-Growth Progressive Idea: Growing the economy by connecting startups with better access to investments, simpler rules, and a skilled workforce.

Cyrus Habib was elected Washington state’s 16th Lt. Governor in November 2016. A former legislator, Lt. Governor Habib represented east King County in both the State House of Representatives and the State Senate, where he served as Democratic Whip and a member of the Democratic leadership team.

As Lt. Governor, he is President of the State Senate, serves as acting-Governor whenever the Governor leaves the state, and maintains a portfolio of key issues including Economic Development, Trade, and Higher Education.

A three-time cancer survivor, Lieutenant Governor Habib has been fully blind since age eight. His parents immigrated to the U.S. from Iran before he was born, and he is both the first and only Iranian-American official to hold statewide elected office in the United States. He is the youngest presiding officer in the country, and the first and only Iranian-American to hold statewide elected office in the United States. He is a graduate of Columbia University, Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, and Yale Law School.

Pro-Growth Progressive Ideas Shared

Problem

Today's economy favors those with college degrees and has been unforgiving to those without. Of the 7.2 million jobs lost in the recession, nearly 80% required only a high school diploma. Conversely, 99% of the jobs created post-recession went to workers with a college education. Our best projections tell us the gap between workers' skills and employers' demands will grow.

In Washington, less than half of working adults hold a two- or four-year college degree, while almost 70% of our state's job openings in the next seven years will require a postsecondary credential. However, for many working adults, college is a long, expensive commitment incompatible with family needs, the constraints of an inflexible work schedule, and a tight budget.

Solution

Complete Washington programs are designed to address the barriers that most often prevent adults from returning to college: cost, scheduling issues, and uncertainty for career advancement. To limit out-of-pocket costs, Complete Washington pathways are designed to capture credit for prior learning, so students who return to school with knowledge gained on the job can bank their experiences toward their degrees. Unlike most online degree programs, Complete Washington courses are offered on a flexible schedule based on competencies gained, rather than time spent. We actively engage industry and labor with two- and four-year institutions in the degree design process to ensure that the program meets the needs of both workers and employers.