Tempe Chamber Receives U.S. Chamber Foundation Career Readiness Funding


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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation announced this week that The Tempe Chamber of Commerce (TCC) was selected to participate in its Career Readiness Lab and receive $95,000 to implement a work-based learning program to better connect students with academic and experiential learning opportunities in their community. TCC was one of five state and local chambers selected across the country.


“The Tempe Chamber is honored to have been chosen to receive this valuable grant that will directly impact our Career Ready Tempe workforce program,” said Anne Gill, President and CEO Tempe Chamber of Commerce.  “We look forward to partnering with the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation to implement this innovative program to connect students with experiential learning opportunities to graduate ready for college and career.”


The Career Readiness Lab will build a network of chambers dedicated to fill the talent gap by developing and implementing strategic programming that promotes leading work-based learning and employment practices. Each participant is implementing an innovative program that creates an opportunity for students and employers aligned with the economic needs of their region. Advised by national experts, participants of the program will establish sustainable, scalable models of work-based learning that can be replicated by chambers of commerce across the country.


For this program, The Tempe Chamber will strengthen its capacity to facilitate Career Ready Tempe (CRT).  In collaboration with the City of Tempe and the Tempe Union High School District, CRT will connect low-income, first-generation high school students with work-based learning experiences that not only bring opportunity to the student but also help develop work-based learning as a talent development strategy in Tempe, creating a sustainable model for the future.


“With nearly 6 million young adults both out of school and work, there is a clear talent gap between the needs of the business community and how future talent is prepared for careers,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. “The U.S. Chamber Foundation has a rich history of building capacity for employers to meet their talent needs and expand economic opportunity. Through this work, we have identified one primary avenue for new forms of business engagement in career readiness: work-based learning.”


In addition to the Tempe Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber Foundation selected four other chambers of commerce to participate in the program. To learn more about their initiatives, go here.


The Career Readiness Lab will begin in January 2019 and conclude in the summer of 2020, at which point participants will report on best practices and lessons learned.