2014 ACCE Award for Education Attainment Recipients


  1. Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce: seeks to raise the high school graduation rate to 90%, college readiness rate to 60% by 2025, and post-secondary enrollment rate by 10% within 4 years. The chamber is a key stakeholder in Pathways to Prosperity, a regional, collective impact effort between the Chamber, four school districts, a community college and the City- to develop initial career pathways in information technology, health sciences and advanced manufacturing. Utilizing strong input from regional employers and statewide leaders, Aurora partners are working to align existing programs with current and future business needs, and to ensure the initial pathways include opportunities for internships, dual credit and stackable credentials. In addition to Pathways for Prosperity, the Chamber also hosts its own workforce development initiatives, including an advanced manufacturing internship program.
  1. Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA): focused on building a pipeline of students who participate in career themed high school academies, pursue post-secondary credentials and/or degrees and fill available jobs that are within the region’s high-need targeted industries.  To build upon this effort, BBA is working to develop a web presence and marking campaign for its newly launched Talent Recruitment Project, a program that hosts sector themed events to connect the workforce opportunities of Birmingham’s employers to college students as they near graduation. BBA believes that early exposure to workforce opportunities will better motivate and prepare students for college and career success, raising high school graduation rates and increasing post-secondary education attainment.                                                                                                                                         
  1. Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber: working with regional partners to achieve shared Bold Goals by 2020, which include increasing the percentage of adults who earn an associate’s degree or higher to 45% and the percentage of the labor force gainfully employed to 90%. Several of the chamber's initiatives have built strong momentum for its goals, including: the Chamber’s regional action plan, Agenda 360; the region’s 2020 Jobs Outlook, a shared report that forecasts future workforce opportunities to help guide curriculum and workforce preparation. It is now expanding its Partners for a Competitive Workforce database to support a more robust skills gap analysis for the region, which will help develop career pathways to ensure individuals gain the higher skills needed to meet employer demands.
  1. Greater Omaha Chamber:  committed to implementing cradle to career strategies that increase the high school graduation rate to 90%, college-going rate to 75% and college graduation rate to 55%. Most specifically, the Chamber is working to create an education pipeline in the area of Information Systems and Technology, a high-need workforce sector, with key partners from K-12 and higher education institutions and the Workforce Investment Board to identify challenges and opportunities in building strong curriculum and programs to support this sector. Efforts include developing a community marketing campaign to promote the skills needed in this industry as well as available education and career opportunities.
  1. Greater Sarasota Chamber of Commerce: bolstering the Chamber’s newly developed Talent4Tomorrow Partnership, which has adopted a collective impact strategy to achieve its overarching goal to secure 30,000 new degrees by 2020. To raise post-secondary attainment, the Partnership will be creating a comprehensive career pathways system that enhances most promising existing programs to enrich student opportunities for career exploration, development and placement in high-demand, high-wage careers at both the high school and post-secondary level.  As a new Partnership, Talent4Tomorrow will also be focused on building operational support, research, data, communication efforts and assessments.
  1. Greensboro Chamber of Commerce: strengthening efforts to raise higher education attainment in Guilford County to 51% by 2025 and adult college completion, ensuring at least 1,500 adults return to school, of which 1,000 complete their degree by 2016. In 2012, the Chamber conducted a Workforce Survey, which revealed a critical skills gap in Aviation and Aviation-related manufacturing, and a workforce lack of STEM skills. This fueled the Chamber’s efforts to convene a highly successful Aviation Triad Initiative - a collaboration between three cities and other key stakeholders, including five community colleges and aviation companies- to raise student enrollment in Aviation training programs and careers. The Chamber is now working to conduct a new survey and expand the initiative to reconnect the untapped talent of returning military personnel to higher education and career opportunities.
  2. Metro South Chamber of Commerce: leading Careers in Health, a program targeting entry and advanced level healthcare employees who seek career and workplace advancement but require higher education, certification or licensure. To help meet the needs of region’s top industry, the program is engaging more than 205 incumbent healthcare workers to pursue career growth opportunities, ensuring 50% of targeted workers enroll in advanced training programs with 75% of enrolled participants receiving a certificate and wage increase. The program works in partnership with several healthcare employers and 4 institutions of higher education, which offer courses to participants, to ensure success. As the program continues to develop, it will begin identifying and incorporating more courses that align with careers in growing industries within the healthcare sector, such as bio-technology and STEM studies. 



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