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WHEREAS, states have a recognized need to employ processes and tools that use evidence to inform policy and budget decisions across the areas examined; and

WHEREAS, relying on a combination of stakeholder education, a strong data infrastructure, and scientific-based analytical peer-reviewed resources can help leaders achieve better outcomes for their communities; and

WHEREAS, the availability of a highly skilled workforce is necessary to support growth and innovation in industries such as manufacturing, health care, telecommunications, biotechnology, information technology, energy, and transportation and logistics; and

WHEREAS, the nation’s industries face challenges to attract new and more diverse talent pools, replace a long serving and experienced workforce, and close gaps in workers’ skills and credentials; and

WHEREAS, equity in education refers to fairness in programs, strategies, and opportunities for all students; and

WHEREAS, equity is achieved when all students receive the resources they need to graduate prepared for success after high school; and

WHEREAS, international trade and foreign investment are major contributors to the United States economy and help support millions of good-paying jobs throughout state and local communities; and

WHEREAS, U.S. exports account for nearly 13 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product and support an estimated 11.5 million jobs; and

WHEREAS, the United States and Canada have one of the largest trading relationships in the world, and Canada is the United States’ largest export market, valued at $322 billion in goods and services; and

WHEREAS, in 2016, trade between the United States and Canada totaled over $1.7 billion in goods and services every day, supporting 9 million jobs in the U.S., and Canada is the leading export destination for 32 U.S. states; and

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