Business Matters Fall 2018 - Page 9

Texas Economic Development Center, Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi, and Workforce Solutions of the Coastal Bend as part of a national network of organizations, known at The Graduate! Network, which is devoted to seeing more adults complete a college degree or other post-secondary credential will be launching an Employer Survey to identify and address skill shortages and opportunities for education partnerships across the Coastal Bend community. The intent is to capture data to help state policymakers, educational institutions, and training providers better understand the urgency of employers’ needs and take action. Responses to this survey will provide valuable feedback and will help guide community-wide strategies for creating a work-ready Coastal Bend. For additional information regarding the Chamber's Education and Workforce initiatives, including this project, click here or contact Dr. Gilda Ramirez, VP of Small Business & Education at 361.881.1800 or gilda@unitedcorpuschristichamber.com. 5 TALENT HUB DESIGNATION OPENS DOORS // Cities across America are facing the same problem: There are ample jobs available for all residents in the community, but residents aren’t meeting the basic requirements to fill the positions. The largest contributor to this anomaly? Lack of education, specifically education after high school. By the year 2025, more than 60% of jobs will require some form of secondary education, whether that be college, trade school or an apprenticeship in a particular field. However, residents of many cities, aren’t attaining secondary education. The Lumina Foundation’s entire premise is education after high school. Through community mobilization, education and training, the foundation works with communities to form partnerships improve their education system for residents of that area. The idea is that partnerships bring together businesses, government and education sectors for the common goal of attracting, retaining and developing the workforce that particular community needs. Corpus Christi is one of 24 Talent Hubs currently across America. To earn the designation, five criteria must be met: strength of partnership health; alignment with local and state-level policy and resources; retainment of individuals who enter the education system; sustainability of programs in planning and practice; and commitment to equity, specifically concerning minority learners. To remain a Talent Hub, communities must demonstrate forward motion and future plans. Citizens for Educational Excellence (CEE) is a driving force behind Corpus Christi’s Talent Hub designation. The goal in Corpus Christi is for 60% percent of the population to have a post-high school certificate or degree by 2030. “25% of our city’s population is comprised of adults without a college degree,” said Janet Cunningham, CEE Executive Director. “We have great jobs but don’t have the workers to fill them. They need skills, certificates and degrees. Getting people to understand that the jobs are here and getting them on track to earning those positions is our main goal.” Through a multitude of partnerships across the city built in the last decade, Cunningham and her team have made great strides in adult educational efforts, and the Talent Hub designation has been immensely helpful. “The most important part,” Cunningham said, “is coming together as a community for a common cause.” “We as a community need to support our own population,” she said. “Businesses shouldn’t have to look outside of our own city or state to find workers, and everything that has happened in our city in the last eight years is testament to that. This has all happened because people have put aside their differences to move these programs forward, and our city is thriving because of that.” Click here to read the full version of this article.