: Center for Education and Workforce

Twitter Chat: Is Early Ed an Infrastructure Conversation?
On Tuesday, August 27, the Chamber Foundation partnered with Linda Smith of the BPC to host a Twitter chat discussing infrastructure challenges for early childhood education facilities. In a span of 45 minutes, the participants of this chat were able to provide more than one million Twitter accounts with data, research, and case studies arguing for early childhood education to gain a seat at the table where infrastructure conversations are happening. 
Rural Renewal
A core responsibility of a chamber or local economic development agency is to support the economic vitality of the communities they serve. To succeed in that role, it is critical to keep abreast of trends in society to anticipate change and stay ahead. By focusing on building a strong economic foundation for a rural community, that leverages existing resources and tools wherever possible, community leaders can develop a powerful toolkit for courting individuals and business to consider relocating to their towns. 
STEM Pathways
© VEX Robotics Competition, Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation
Successful career pathways are created through deep and meaningful coalitions of organizations. These coalitions bring education, community members, and business leaders together with a shared dedication to meeting society's biggest challenges in a responsible, sustainable, and profitable way. They blur the lines between formal education, community service, workforce development, and economic development. 
Qualcomm 2019
© Qualcomm

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were approximately 8.6 million STEM jobs in May 2015, with the highest jobs in software development, user support, and systems analysts. Despite the high number of jobs, the lack of skilled workers in the labor force allow these positions to go unfilled. To make matters worse, the existing STEM workforce lacks diversity among women and minorities, not representing the emerging workforce of women and underrepresented groups. 

Experimental Sites Initiative + Federal Work Study
© 2019 Getty Images
Though not widely known outside of the education community, the Department of Education recently released information about a new pilot for institutions willing to reimagine their Federal Work Study (FWS) programs. Given the pilot’s emphasis on increased industry engagement in FWS, it is imperative that the business community be informed about the pilot and reach out to their education partners to leverage this pioneering opportunity to benefit our nation’s students. Chances like this are few and far between…and will become completely obsolete if limited interest prevails innovative thinking. 
We Must Start Earlier
© Zero to Three
Most people agree that the foundation for later learning and skill-building is shaped by children’s earliest childhood experiences. But do we all agree on what “early” means? Our brains grow faster between the ages of 0 and 3 than at any later point in our lives, forming more than one million new neural connections every second. When babies have nurturing relationships, early learning experiences, and good health and nutrition, these neural connections are stimulated and strengthened, laying a strong foundation for success in school and the workforce. 
The New Normal
© Cisco
The world is changing. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is here, and it is having an impact on everything, including the future of work. A significant evolution of the labour market is forecast over the next 10 years, and we do not fully know all the jobs of the future. Given the hyper transformation of technology, business models, and work, it is important to understand and anticipate what this means for youth, society, businesses, and government, so that everyone has an opportunity to participate in the digital economy.
Early Childhood Education as a Workforce Issue, TwitterChat Recap
On Wednesday, April 17, the U.S. Chamber Foundation co-hosted a Twitter chat with Save the Children Action Network (SCAN) to engage a broad audience in a conversation about early childhood education as a critical workforce issue. The goal of the chat was to engage individuals, advocates, and employers across the country in a focused discussion where we could all collectively share the data, stories, and research behind this two-generation challenge. We were thrilled with the turnout.
Employers Investing in Backup Childcare
© 2019 Getty Images
Although many businesses recognize the economic and human development impacts of investment in early childhood education, there are many that don’t. And those that have chosen to take action can find it difficult to navigate their options and choose a path forward with confidence. The truth is that there are multiple options and you can let your workforce help you narrow down the choices.
Achieving Tomorrow in Boston
© 2019 Getty Images

To close the opportunity divide, cities like Boston are looking to strategic partnerships between employers and workforce and talent development programs to connect underserved youth with the work-based learning experiences that exist in their own community and help equip them with the skills and real-world experience they need to succeed in them. 

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