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The following is an excerpt from an interview of digiLEARN co-founder Bev Perdue. For the full article, click here.

At 71 years old, Bev Perdue is championing one thing: technology for education and the future workforce.

Perdue served as North Carolina’s 73rd governor from 2009 to 2013 and was the first woman elected to the state’s highest office. She saw the state through the aftermath of the Great Recession and focused her policy on bolstering education and creating jobs.

Throughout her decades in public service — in the North Carolina legislature, as lieutenant governor, and as governor — Perdue has focused on improving graduation rates and strengthening the pipeline that sees students through college or career training after high school. She also led the state to invest in education technology, fostered public-private partnerships to integrate that technology into North Carolina’s schools, and created a statewide broadband education network for public schools and institutions of higher education.

Now, five years after her term ended, those priorities still very much sit at the top of her agenda, and she says the imperative for technology-forward education is even more urgent.

“We’re still very much at risk in a different way because of technology and machine learning. But I think the risk is probably more grave,” Perdue said in an interview with The 74. “If you look at the data about the underserved communities we’re not educating, we’re losing about 50 percent of our future workforce. I think that’s frightening in a global economy.”

Click here for the full interview.