A shortage of talent across the country means millions of jobs are unfilled, and leaders from government, business, education, and communities realize that solving the shortage will mean growing a skilled workforce from the people they already have.
This week, Lumina Foundation in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, designated four new Talent Hubs – places with a demonstrated plan for significantly increasing the number of people with college degrees or other credentials beyond a high school diploma.
The communities in Indiana, Ohio, and Florida join 22 others selected in 2017 and 2018 for their efforts. The designation means they are working in partnerships, taking bold action, and changing outcomes for learners that have not been well-served by the post-high school education system in the past.
Southwest Florida’s FutureMakers Coalition is no stranger to making these transformational changes in its community. The coalition has an ambitious plan to build on existing efforts that allow a student to return to a community college to finish an associate degree that includes addressing prior college debt, flexible schedules that match students’ daily lives, and providing academic and career support along the way. They also know that all education partners must be involved to make regional change. Adult education programs offered by workforce providers, technical colleges, two-year college, and four-year universities are all equal partners, collaborating to change outcomes not just for their institution, but for the entire region.
What makes these places unique – and worthy of the Talent Hub designation – is not what they are doing; it’s how they are doing it. These partnerships have set aside age-old divisions to serve their entire community. They understand that their own organization’s success is entirely dependent on their region’s success, and that only by working together, across sectors, will their communities flourish.