The Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) has named six exceptional organizations recipients of the 2016-17 Award for Education Attainment (Award). These organizations, which are part of a unique network of chambers of commerce and business organizations that champion education attainment, will each receive a one-time $40,000 award stimulus to bolster their established efforts to increase postsecondary attainment in their region.
Winners of the 2016 Award have shared the following statements about their work:
Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
“Talent development is a top priority for our chamber members and a key part of our organization’s strategic plan. This funding will allow us to build upon the work we are doing to increase the educational attainment rate in our community to fill the skills gaps both now and in the future.” –Bryan Derreberry, president and CEO
Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce
"The Austin Chamber is honored to be selected by ACCE to receive an Education Attainment Award. ACCE's support will help accelerate our efforts to achieve a regional 70 percent direct-to-college enrollment rate for the Class of 2017 and help more students access and afford the higher education and training they need to compete for high demand jobs in Central Texas." –Mike Rollins, president and CEO
Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
“Our chamber has been a critical partner with our region’s education sector for many years, focusing on increasing the number of high school students who attend and complete postsecondary education. Our FAFSA Nights initiative has dramatically increased the number of high school seniors who have successfully completed the application process and received college grants and low cost loans.” –Richard Dayoub, president and CEO
“We are thrilled to receive this award from ACCE as an acknowledgement of the strength of our Earn Up collaborative. Earn Up is our cross-sector collaboration that engages high-level community leaders in raising the percentage of adults with training certificates or college degrees from 38 percent to 60 percent by 2025. The Award will allow us to better connect adult learners, specifically our military veterans, with the information and opportunities they need to earn an industry certificate or college degree in one of our targeted industries in northeast Florida.” –Tina Wirth, vice president, education and workforce development
Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
“We are thrilled to have been selected for an ACCE Award for Education Attainment. We are eager to continue our important work in connecting students to their future college and career pathways, and supporting companies as they seek to upskill their employees and see greater numbers of degreed and credentialed individuals in our regional workforce. These efforts will be only improved thanks to our important partnership with ACCE and our Education Attainment Division colleagues.”—Lindsay Haymes, vice president, workforce development
The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
“Coming from a state where roughly 60 percent of high school graduates are neither college nor career-ready, the need for innovative solutions to our education and workforce development problems cannot be understated. This award will help us move closer to our goals and we are humbled and honored to be recognized.” – Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO
About the Award
ACCE's Education Attainment Division launched a competitive awards program in 2014 to recognize chambers of commerce that have demonstrated momentum in setting education attainment agendas and established innovative postsecondary attainment goals and strategies. The program includes a one-time $40,000 stimulus award to accelerate selected chambers' existing efforts to grow the number of individuals in their communities with postsecondary degrees and other high quality credentials. This effort aims to expand and deepen their work as well as share successes to build replicable and scalable practices among ACCE's membership. In addition to flexible funding, winning chambers receive technical and planning assistance and access to a powerful network of national thought-leaders, which provide guidance as they expand their postsecondary success initiatives.
About ACCE’s Education Attainment Division
The Education Attainment Division (EAD) convenes and connects an extensive peer network of chamber professionals to share resources and expertise on improving cradle to career education outcomes within their communities. For more information about ACCE’s Education Attainment Division, visit www.acce.org/ead.