CO falls in ranking of states' ability to handle new economy

Failure to invest in higher ed blamed for falling ability to handle knowledge economy.

A new report identifies the top states adapting to the "new economy." The report, issued by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, identified Massachusetts, New Jersey, Maryland, Washington and California as the top five IT-savvy states in the country, but Colorado fell from the No. 3 state to the No. 9 spot, reports the Rocky Mountain News.

The new economy is sentered on global economic activity, knowledge work and innovation.

"Other states have made major investments in expanding higher education, particularly research centers related to their state economies and specialties," Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, told reporters in a teleconference.

"My sense is that Colorado didn't do that as much in the last decade."

Larry Penley, president of Colorado State University, used the report as an opportunity to call for investment in higher ed.

"We don't invest in higher education very well." He added that spending should focus on research and having "the very, very best faculty in the nation."

The index evaluates each state on how well it will fare in the new economy.

"The most distinctive feature of the new economy is its relentless levels of structural economic change," Carl Schramm, CEO of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, said in a statement. "States that have adapted to these new realities will be in the best position to see strong growth in the standard of living for their residents."