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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 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.
  • 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

  • Baton Rouge Area Chamber (La.) leads BRAIN, the Baton Rouge Area Intern Network, which seeks to increase the number of internships available to students to better expose students to the various job opportunities in the region. BRAIN has developed in internship job board and various webpages that provide information, tools and resources for both companies and students.
  • 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.
  • Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce trains and certifies young adults to become work-ready through its LA Youth at Work program, which includes a multi-step process that seeks to jumpstart the future careers for L.A. area youth. The program serves several thousand youth each year through its Job Skills Workshops. The chamber then connects students who have successfully completed a workshop and mock interview process to internship and job opportunities in the region.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Research

Articles & Blog Posts

Convention & Seminar Resources

  • Higher Education Ecosystem - Presentation handout from the 2016 ACCE Annual Convention by Lindsay Haymes, Vice President, Workforce Development, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce (Mo.); Greg Laposa, Vice President, Education Strategies, St. Louis Regional Chamber; and Gilbert Zavala, Vice President, Education and Talent Development, Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce (Texas).
  • Leveraging Data to Drive a Talent Agenda - Presentation from by Brian Bosworth, President, FutureWorks; and Tina Wirth, Senior Director of Workforce Development, JAX Chamber (Fla.); from the 2015 ACCE Annual Convention.
  • Reaching Goal 2025 - Presentation handout from the 2015 ACCE Annual Convention highlighting the 2015-16 Lumina Education Attainment Award Winners.

Presentations and Webinars

Additional Resources


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: 11/19/2017

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