The Lumina Foundation has announced a second cohort of communities selected to participate in an initiative to increase the number of local residents who hold postsecondary credentials.
Launched in 2013, the initiative is designed to connect participating cities and regions with technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding, and access to a national network of thought leaders to develop postsecondary attainment plans customized to address each community's needs. Lumina plans to invest approximately $5.6 million in the thirty-five communities through 2016, with each community eligible for a grant of up to $160,000 over two and a half years.
The latest cohort of communities includes Akron and Cleveland, Ohio; Albany and New York, New York; Austin, Corpus Christi, and Dallas, Texas; Berkeley, Coachella Valley, and Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Columbia, South Carolina.; Denver, Colorado; Detroit and Grand Rapids, Michigan; Hartford, Connecticut; Jacksonville and Orlando, Florida; Kansas City, Missouri; Las Vegas, Nevada; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Nashville, Tennessee; the New Hampshire region; Newark, New Jersey; the northwest Indiana region; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Richmond, Virginia; Rio Grande Valley region; Salt Lake City, Utah; Savannah, Georgia; Spokane, Washington; the southwest Florida region; Washington, D.C., and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
"Education is the key force behind prosperity," said David Rattray, senior vice president of education and workforce development at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and president of UNITE-LA. "We in Los Angeles are very excited to be a part of this national effort, not only to leverage the resources and expertise the partnership provides, but to share what we know with other communities working on the same challenges."