U.S. Chamber Foundation Selects Recipients of Career Readiness Funding


The Career Readiness Lab will build a network of chambers of commerce dedicated to fill the talent gap.
#CareerReadyLab participants will establish sustainable, scalable work-based learning models for their community.

Five State and Local Chambers of Commerce Receive Grant to Implement New Work-Based Learning Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced the five chambers of commerce selected to participate in its Career Readiness Lab, a program in which each chamber will receive $95,000 to implement a work-based learning program to better connect students with academic and experiential learning opportunities in their community. 

“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.”

From a field of more than 70 applications, the Chamber Foundation is pleased to announce the members of the Career Readiness Lab:

  • Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, Whitinsville, MA
  • The Lancaster Chamber, Lancaster, PA
  • Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Augusta, ME
  • Tempe Chamber of Commerce, Tempe, AZ
  • Wake Forest Chamber Foundation, Wake Forest, NC

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 and creates opportunity for students and employers aligned to the economic needs of the 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.

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.

To learn more about the Career Readiness Lab, go here.