Kyle Butler Kyle Butler
Senior Manager, Programs


May 24, 2024


Here at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, we have a saying: “If you have met one chamber, you have met one chamber.” Each state, regional, and local chamber across the country is unique in the challenges they face and the priorities of their state or community. And yet, we know there is a core set of knowledge and skills that chambers can use to serve their vital role in supporting the people and systems that create our nation’s educated workforce.

Recognizing this, we formalized our existing work of providing resources to state, local, and regional chambers of commerce into the Business Leads Fellowship Program (Business Leads) six years ago. This initiative equips business intermediaries with the tools needed to tackle challenges in every part of the education and workforce pipeline in their communities, including:

  • Early Childhood Education;
  • K-12 Education;
  • Postsecondary Education; and
  • Workforce Development.

Since its inception, Business Leads has trained more than 320 cohort members from 49 states. Many of these alumni have spearheaded successful education and workforce initiatives within their communities. However, as we have engaged with these leaders, we have recognized the necessity to delve deeper into nuanced educational issues responsive to unique moments in time, and critical to the future of business and the economy.

In response, the U.S. Chamber Foundation is proud to launch a series of Master Classes – focused, intensive programs designed for Business Leads Fellows seeking to navigate specific complex education and workforce issues. These multi-day in-person workshops will address topics that chamber leaders have continuously raised as critical to them. Our aim is to equip participants with practical insights, actionable strategies, and a clear roadmap to drive positive change upon their return to their communities.

For example, in a few months we will host our first Master Class focused on engaging with local school boards. We will cover what the business community should expect school board members to do, the key topics they should be discussing, and how chambers can support them while holding them accountable. These are some of the key points that we will dive into with participants in this Master Class.

We plan to host more Master Classes across all parts of the education and workforce pipeline. Potential topics might include developing state and local leadership on childcare, orchestrating work-based learning, or understanding a transition to skills-based hiring and advancement.

The U.S. Chamber Foundation and the chambers collaborate with across the country take our responsibility seriously to push for an excellent education for every student in America. We believe that by equipping business leaders with the tools, knowledge, and connections needed to drive educational improvement, we can create and support strong, prosperous communities in every corner of our country. We are grateful for the chamber leaders who are raising their hands to partner with us on this mission and look forward to continued partnership with education and workforce champions across the country.

Get to Know Business Leads

Find out more about Business Leads and how you can improve your community.

About the authors

Kyle Butler

Kyle Butler

Kyle Butler is senior manager of K-12 education programs at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation.

Read more