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Kresge, Lumina Foundations designate 17 cities as Talent Hubs


The Kresge Foundation joined in partnership with the Lumina Foundation today to announce the designation of 17 communities across the country as Talent Hubs. These cities earned this new designation by meeting rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students, many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to college, or from low-income households.

Each Talent Hub focuses intensively on one of three populations critical to raising the nation’s overall post-high school attainment level to 60 percent of working-age adults by 2025: 18-to-22-year-old students; older adults with college experience who stopped out before finishing their studies; or adults with no formal education beyond high school. Talent Hub cities are committed to eliminating deep racial and other systemic disparities in educational outcomes.

The communities designated as Talent Hubs today are:  Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; Denver; Fresno, Calif.; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Philadelphia; Racine, Wis.; Richmond, Va.; Shasta County, Calif.; and Tulsa, Okla.

Kresge’s support for Talent Hubs comes from its national Education Program, which includes a focus on aligning and strengthening urban higher education ecosystems to help more low-income, under-represented and minority students gain access to and succeed in higher education.

Each community designated as a Talent Hub will receive $350,000 in grant funding over the next three and a half years. Grant funding will support local efforts to educate more people, allowing community and postsecondary leaders to better meet the specific needs of residents.

“Unlike many affluent students, who might go to college across the state or across the country, most low-income students go to college close to home,” said Bill Moses, managing director for the Education Program at The Kresge Foundation. “We see the Talent Hubs designation as a way to help galvanize entire communities to build their own talent and increase postsecondary attainment.”

“These communities are the creative and entrepreneurial engines that power our nation,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “For our country to meet growing demand for an educated workforce, we must bolster community-based efforts that are tightly focused on increasing the numbers of people in cities across the country with education and training beyond high school.”

The Talent Hub designation serves both as an aspirational target for other cities to aim for and a platform from which cities designated as Talent Hubs can build.

Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.