Higher Education

A skilled workforce is essential to building a thriving economy. To ensure a competitive workforce, business must support an ambitious effort to increase post-secondary education attainment through affordable, flexible access to high quality degrees and credentials aligned with workforce needs. Chambers can facilitate collaborative partnerships to increase the number of post-secondary degrees and high quality certificates in their communities. See additional resources on the page for Mobilizing Employers to Upskill their Employees.

Award-Winning Chamber Samples

Chambers Impacting Higher Education Attainment

  • ACCE-Lumina Award for Education Attainment - explore how winning chambers are working to increase higher education attainment in their regions:
  • The Bristol County Chamber of Commerce (Mass.) spearheads the EdUp Education Campaign, a branding and long term media outreach campaign aimed at raising community aspirations regarding educational attainment. Through opinion articles, TV segments, radio spots, and more, the chamber is transforming community perceptions and attainment of post-secondary degrees.
  • Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce's (Texas) Summer Melt Program helps high school graduates overcome obstacles to directly enroll in college, including financial aid verification, gaps in cost of college attendance, and extending counselor contracts.
  • The Kentucky Chamber has for several years supported efforts to tie education funding at state colleges and universities to improved student outcomes. State lawmakers recently enacted a budget that sets aside 5% of each institution’s funding to be allocated using a perfomance-based funding model. The chamber recently hosted a meeting of the workgroup that is developing the funding model, and has partnered with the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence to publish a report and host a symposium to discuss examples from other states and best practices for program design, planning, implementation, and analysis.
  • The Little Rock Regional Chamber (Ark.) and North Little Rock Chamber (Ark.) supported a college affordability agreement between University of Arkansas Pulaski Technical College and University of Arkansas at Little Rock. The agreement, called Metro 2 + 2 Degree, makes it possible for residents to receive an affordable bachelor's degree through a streamlined transfer process.
  • The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce is a sponsor of the statewide Cash for College campaign, which promotes college access through financial aid awareness.
  • Tennessee Scholars Program - Initiative of the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce and Eastman Chemical to increase the percentage of Tennessee high school graduates that are prepared for post-secondary education, the workforce, or the military.
  • The York County Economic Alliance (Pa.), has created a marketing campaign geared towards 8th-10th graders regarding high priority occupations in York County called "Learn to Earn" focusing on a "Careers in 2 Years" campaign. It's vital to have an education beyond high school. Post-secondary education or technical training brings endless possibilities and opportunities. The goal is that by regionalizing the effort will further unify the workforce development efforts with the economic development efforts of the region.

Chamber-Higher Education Partnerships

  • Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce (Ky.) partnered on an initiative to raise the funds and supplies needed to ensure all students at the Warren County Area Tech Center had the resources they need to take the professional certification exams needed for employment after graduation. In addition, the chamber set and met their goal to have a job offer for all graduating seniors at the ATC who have obtained their industry certification.
  • Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce (Ga.) has partnered with Troy University to facilitate professional development and education of chamber members. Troy University will provide tuition scholarships to all Chamber of Commerce employees, active members and the employees of active members, along with application fee waivers and transcript evaluation prior to application.
  • Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce (Ga.) serves in the Archway Partnership with the University of Georgia, a program that seeks to connect the University and its surrounding communities to address the state's economic development needs and access to education. The Chamber is a leading partner in the Whitfield County sector, serving on the Executive Committee and various sub-committees related to K-12 and Higher Education.
    • ChamberLink - a Chamber published magazine spread outlining the Archway Partnership’s education initiatives
  • Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce (Mo.): Central Missouri Innovation Campus is a partnership between the chamber, Lincoln University, and Linn State Technical College focused on providing a qualified workforce in the Information Technology (IT) sector. This is a structured, scholarship-based program for high school seniors to obtain an associates or bachelor degree through duel credit and stackable credentials.

Equipping Business to Invest in Higher Education Attainment

  • Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce partnered with the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston to create the Internship Collaborative.
  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber (La.) offers InternBR, an initiative designed to provide college student interns with leadership and communication skills needed in the workplace. The six-week program takes place in June and July and includes skills development workshops, service and social events, and a graduation ceremony.
  • Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce (R.I.) collaborates with the Rhode Island Student Loan Authority and several other partners to expand the number of internships available to students through bRIgde, a program that works to bridge jobs and talent for employers and offers an online internship website. The program is also outlined in Rhode Island’s 2014 Legislative Action Plan Rhode to Work.
  • Mobilizing Businesses to Reach Goal 2025, a report developed by the Los Angeles Area Chamber and Lumina Foundation, examines how supporting employee education attainment can impact the workplace. The report, which has received White House attention, highlights business policies that facilitate employees’ attainment of postsecondary credentials and degrees.
  • Metro Atlanta Chamber's Internship Toolkit offers support mechanisms to help employers provide meaningful and mutually beneficial internship experiences to post-secondary students. The toolkit covers all aspects of internship planning, such as common policies, course credit, working with universities, labor laws, and sample paperwork templates.
  • Orange County Business Council (Calif.) Internship Opportunities - Partnered with Boeing offers a variety of internships to students in the fields of engineering, business, information technology, and data analytics.
  • St. Louis Regional Chamber's Degrees That Work Employer Toolkit offers support mechanisms to help businesses invest in educational opportunities for their employees. The toolkit equips employers with knowledge of key policies and best practices that support employee degree completion.
  • Tulsa Regional Chamber (Okla.) launched Tulsa's Young Professionals, an organization that works to attract and retain young talent in Tulsa, and Intern In Tulsa, an online portal to engage students and employers in internship opportunities.


Articles & Blog Posts

Convention & Seminar Resources

Presentations and Webinars

Additional Resources

Learn more about ACCE's Education & Talent Development Division.

Chamberpedia Home | Education and Workforce Development | Higher Education

Last Updated: 8/2/2018

Accrisoft is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Aventura World by Central Holidays West is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Benfits Trust is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Grow With Google is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE New Insperity The U.S. Chamber is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE
Collette is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE Cognizant Constant Contact POWER 10 sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives United Networks of America is an Official Corporate Sponsor of ACCE EY sponsor ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Compass Media sponsors ACCE, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
Sponsorship and advertising opportunities Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives