Aaron Merchen speaking at the ECE Summit
On September 29 and 30, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce hosted the 2022 Early Childhood Education Summit in Denver, Colorado providing an opportunity for business leaders, providers, and early childhood advocates to discuss and analyze child care through a state-and-federal policy lens. Aaron Merchen (Education, US Chamber of Commerce & Director, Policy & Programs, Early Childhood Education, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation) who led the summit and worked with the state and regions toward identifying early childhood priorities and creating actions to address those priorities to policymakers discussed some key takeaways.
Two students sitting at a table facing a laptop
© Getty Images
At a time when we need to address STEM labor shortages, we cannot afford to leave segments of our population behind. The National Science Foundation (NSF) supports a strategy to address these issues through the newly funded Community College Presidents’ Initiative in STEM Education. Community colleges, serving the most diverse student body in higher education, are fertile ground for effective diversification of the STEM workforce. 51% of community college students taking college credit classes are students of color.
Amber Rangel Mooney headshot and quote graphic
Amber Rangel Mooney, who participated in the Elite Cohort of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Business Leads Fellowship Program (Business Leads), currently works as vice president and director of workforce development at Empire State Development and knows the importance of expanding career growth opportunities first-hand.
Three people engaged in conversation following council meeting sessions
In response to growing childcare challenges across the nation, the U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC) to support the expansion of high-quality, affordable childcare in communities and states across the country by establishing the Early Childhood and Business Advisory Council.

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