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FMWF Chamber selected for national workforce training program

The effort aims to increase access to high-quality credentials for adults of color.

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Image: Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo Chamber of Commerce
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MOORHEAD, Minn. • The Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce has been chosen to participate in a new national program.

The Chamber is one of seven organizations selected for the program by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to help strengthen chamber of commerce partnerships with community colleges and organizations in an effort to increase the number of adult learners of color who earn an industry-relevant credential or degree.

“We are excited to collaborate with our partners, the Kurdish American Development Organization, North Dakota State College of Science, and Minnesota State Technical College to address inequitable workforce challenges existing within our community,” Jenna Mueller, Chamber workforce and talent strategist and principal investigator, said in a statement.

“Together, we are ready to approach existing systemic challenges in a unique way that promotes meaningful change.”

Partnerships between chambers of commerce and community colleges have the potential to significantly increase the number of adult learners of color completing high-quality, relevant short-term credentials and degrees.

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The Chamber said to support the development of these partnerships, and to increase the number of workers with in-demand credentials and degrees, Lumina Foundation has provided a grant to jump start progress.

The ACCE Foundation (ACCEF) and American Association of Community Colleges identified a virtual cohort of teams from seven regions. Each team will be comprised of a chamber, a community college partner and an organization that directly represents minority communities.

The FMWF Chamber will team up with North Dakota State College of Science, Minnesota State Community and Technical College and The Kurdish American Development Organization to identify the barriers to credential attainment and create quick-win solutions to address those challenges.

They will join teams from six other regions on monthly virtual meetings to gain access to national experts, receive customized technical assistance and engage in peer-to-peer learning activities to create a strategy for longer-term collaboration to build momentum after the grant period ends.

The other communities participating in the program include: Aurora, Illinois; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Cleveland, Ohio; Des Moines, Iowa; North Central Massachusetts; and Tallahassee, Florida

“We are grateful for Lumina Foundation’s continued support for the catalytic leadership chambers of commerce provide in the communities they serve,” said ACCE President and CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Strong cross-sector partnerships are crucial to addressing workforce challenges, building resilient local economies and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive.”

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