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Collective Impact for Education and Workforce Development

Improving regional education and workforce development outcomes cannot be accomplished by one entity alone. The Collective Impact model brings important community stakeholders from different sectors together to define a social problem and coordinate a shared mission to fix it. This model is transforming how communities tackle educational issues by bringing key stakeholders “to the table” to discuss a common agenda across the cradle-to-career continuum. Business organizations are taking on strong roles within these partnerships, serving as a founding partner or backbone organization, to represent the collective voice of the business community.

Chambers Driving Collective Impact

  • The Business Council of Westchester (N.Y.), along with Westchester-Putnam Workforce Development Board and Westchester County, have coordinated a Youth Summit that is intended to bring together Westchester County youth, and local businesses for a day long interactive agenda tackling youth workforce topics. The Youth Summit has been a great tool to help engage local youth and future workforce, and present useful information in an interactive way. See more about their 2016 Youth Summit and theme of “R.E.A.D.I, AIM, HIRE”.
  • The Cincinnati Regional Chamber (Ohio) is a founding partner and Executive Committee member of the Strive Partnership, a cross-state, cradle to career collaborative comprised of 300 cross-sector representatives. Success is benchmarked using a set of cradle to career goals as indicators, including kindergarten readiness, fourth-grade reading and math scores, graduation rates and college completion. The Strive Partnership is the model in which the Strive Network was built upon (see Resources Category below).
  • The Cobb Chamber of Commerce (Ga.), in partnership with Cobb County’s steering committee, has come together to address current and future workforce needs and concerns. Specifically, the goal of the initiative is to have industry inform the workforce educational supply chain (programs, curriculum, training, and resources) in Cobb County. The vision of the Cobb Workforce Partnership is a future in which Cobb County employers know that students educated in Cobb have the skills that they are looking to hire; and students in Cobb County know how to connect with internships, apprenticeships, and job opportunities in Cobb. Read the Cobb Workforce Partnership Report for 2015 for a roadmap of this collaborative effort.
  • Columbus Area Chamber (Ind.) founded the Community Education Coalition in partnership with the Economic Development Board and various community stakeholders and major businesses. The partnership is focused on aligning and integrating the region’s cradle to career learning system with economic growth and a high quality of life.
    • View the CEC’s Education Work Plan infographic, which includes targets and achievement plans for pre-K-12 education, post-secondary education, and adult education.
  • The Detroit Promise provides a tuition-free community college experience might seem like an ambitious goal, but it’s one that the Detroit Regional Chamber is pursuing with full force. In this #ACCESpotlight, we explore how the chamber is investing in its workforce and addressing inequality through Detroit Promise
  • Greater Louisville Inc. (Ky.) serves as a founding Business Partner of 55,000 Degrees, a community collaborative designed to increase education attainment by 55,000 postsecondary degrees by 2020. This partnership is comprised of businesses, K-12 institutions, and higher education institutions to create a network of people highly invested in increasing Louisville’s college-going and completion culture.
    • A sub-organization is Degrees at Work, a partnership between the Chamber, 55,000 Degrees, Lumina Foundation and HIRE Education Forum to impact working adult degree attainment.
  • The Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce (Ohio) has collaborated with local businesses and 8th grade students in their county, to host a great event surrounding Career Exploration. This event serves as a way to engage business and education while opening the eyes of our youth, to all the possibilities for their future in their community. See the Event Flyer example here.
  • The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce (Texas) works collaboratively with Prosper Waco and their collective impact model which model brings together key leaders and organizations in the areas of education, health and financial security and works to bring about measurable and sustainable change in the community, focusing on a number of initiatives, from ready to learn, K-12 and college success, work readiness, well women, and work health and wellness programs.
  • The Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce (Wis.) launched the Cradle to Career Community Summit, in partnership with Brown County United Way and Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, to transform the community’s cradle to career education structure. The reimagined structure is described as a unified community vision and is influenced by three key drivers: what gets results for children, what improves and builds upon those efforts over time, and how to invest the community’s resources differently to increase impact. The Community Summit is a member of the Strive Network (see Resources Category below).
  • The JAX Partnership (Fla.) has a robust set of Education and Workforce Initiatives including Earn Up, an ambitious higher education collaborative in Northeast Florida with a goal of having 60 percent of adults with training certificates or college degrees by 2025.
    • Earn Up focuses on post-secondary attainment, led by Jax Partnership's multi-channel network to promote 'higher earning through higher learning' based on research that shows the single greatest predictor of economic success in a community is the number of degreed and industry-certified people who live there.
    • View the Earn Up Overview Video. Economists estimate that a worker with a bachelor’s degree earns up to 84 percent more than a worker with just a high school diploma. That credential makes a huge difference – a $2.8 million difference, on average.
    • Memorandum of Understanding outlining the partnership between Earn Up, JAX Chamber, and Edward Waters College
  • Longview Chamber of Commerce's (Texas) collective impact project, Every Child Has Access, focuses on the well-being of children during non-school hours, "in an effort to create a continuous environment conducive to learning and health."
  • The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce founded and serves as the backbone organization for The L.A. Compact, a bold commitment by Los Angeles leaders from the education, business, government, labor, and non-profit sectors to transform education outcomes from cradle to career. The signatories commit to regularly measuring their progress in pursuit of three systemic goals: All students graduate from high school, all students have access to and are prepared for success in college, and all students have access to pathways to sustainable jobs and careers.
  • The Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Mo.) manages the GO CAPS program, a consortium of 13 area school districts in MO. This is a unique, yearlong learning experience that allows high school juniors and seniors to test drive future career options, while developing real world professional skills in businesses. GO CAPS gives students the opportunity to explore their interests in engineering and manufacturing, entrepreneurship, medicine and healthcare, and technology solutions.

General Collective Impact Resources

  • Business Aligning for Students - The Promise of Collective Impact is a report from Harvard Business School designed for business leaders who want to understand better why pre-K-12 education ecosystem change is essential, what Collective Impact is and what it might achieve, and how they can get involved in this promising new approach.
  • Collective Impact Forum provides case studies, reports, and toolkits. Users can view resources specifically designed for the role they play as either a funder, a backbone organization or partner organization.
  • OMG Center for Collaborative Learning’s Knowledge Center includes free downloadable reports, videos, and issue briefs related to postsecondary access and success and pre-K-12 education.
  • Ready by 21 increases the capacity of leaders to achieve collective impact for children and youth by providing standards, proven tools and solutions, and ways to measure and track success.
  • StriveTogether is nationwide network comprised of communities that implement the Strive framework for building cradle to career civic infrastructure. View the StriveTogether Network Map and Community List.

Convention & Seminar Resources

  • Tackling Community Needs: Strategies from the Field - Presentation by Janeen Tucker, Senior Vice President, Economic Development & Workforce Solutions, Greater Columbus Georgia Chamber of Commerce; Barbara Ward, Director, Work Force Development, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce (Ga.); Melissa Worthington, Vice President, Fond Du Lac Area Association of Commerce (Wis.). From the 2016 ACCE Annual Convention.
  • Education Outcomes: From Collaboration to Collective Impact - Presentation from the 2015 ACCE Annual Convention, with speakers Ian Fletcher, Vice President of Education & Workforce Development, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce (Fla.); Waymond Jackson, Vice President Education & Workforce Development, Birmingham Business Alliance (Ala.); and Carrie Shapton, Senior Manager, LA Compact, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
Please email Alysia Bell at abell@acce.org or Michelle Vegliante at mvegliante@acce.org to learn more about our developing EDWD portfolio.

To highlight your organization's work, please submit a sample here. For more information about the Education Attainment Division, visit www.acce.org/ead or email ead@acce.org.


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Last updated: 10/28/2017

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