Sandhills Community College is one of 10 organizations selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to participate in the second cohort of a national program to help strengthen Chamber of Commerce partnerships with community colleges and community organizations to increase the number of adult learners of color who earn an industry-relevant credential or degree.
“We’re thrilled to be chosen as one of the ten regions in ACCE’s national workforce training program. This initiative aligns with our commitment to upskilling and creating opportunities for adults of color. Thanks to Lumina Foundation’s support, we’ll collaborate with Moore County Chamber of Commerce and Southern Pines Land and Housing Trust to overcome barriers to credential attainment,” said Dr. Fallon McIver Brewington, vice president of Workforce Continuing Education at Sandhills Community College. “This program not only benefits Sandhills Community College but strengthens cross-sector partnerships to address workforce challenges and foster resilient local economies. We are grateful to the Lumina Foundation, ACCE Foundation, and American Association of Community Colleges for their support.”
Partnerships between Chambers of Commerce and community colleges have the potential to significantly increase the number of adult learners of color completing high-quality, relevant short-term credentials and diplomas. Given the current focus on enhancing skills and the reallocation of resources to support short-term credentials, now is the time to capitalize on the potential for these partnerships.
The Lumina Foundation has provided a grant to jumpstart progress to support the development of these partnerships and increase the number of workers with in-demand credentials and degrees. The ACCE Foundation and the American Association of Community Colleges identified a virtual cohort of teams from nine cities or regions. Each team will comprise a Chamber, a community college partner, and an organization that directly represents the community.
Sandhills Community College will team up with the Moore County Chamber and the Southern Pines Land and Housing Trust to identify the barriers to credential attainment and create quick-win solutions to address those challenges. They will join teams from nine other regions to gain access to national subject matter experts, receive customized technical assistance, and engage in peer-to-peer learning activities to create a strategy for longer-term collaboration to build momentum after the grant period ends.
“We are grateful for the Lumina Foundation’s continued support for the catalytic leadership Chambers of Commerce provide in the communities they serve,” said ACCE president & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Strong cross-sector partnerships are crucial to addressing workforce challenges, building resilient local economies, and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive.”
The other communities participating in the program include Augusta, Georgia; Lafayette, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Odessa, Texas; Sumter County, Georgia; Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and York County, Pennsylvania.
About Sandhills Community College
Chartered in 1963, Sandhills Community College (SCC) is a member of the North Carolina Community College System. As the first comprehensive community college in North Carolina and the first to offer a college transfer program, Sandhills is committed to providing excellence in education, professional development, and community engagement. Offering diverse programs and courses, SCC is dedicated to meeting the evolving needs of our students and community. Whether pursuing a degree, earning a credential or certification, or exploring personal interests, Sandhills Community College stands as a cornerstone of educational opportunity.
About the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Foundation
Founded in 1971, the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) Foundation provides chamber executives with tools, research, leadership development, and knowledge to be players in shaping the futures of their communities. The Foundation serves ACCE’s 1,600+ business organizations and focuses on key areas where business involvement is well-positioned to create lasting impact. This includes education and talent development, economic and community development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Photo by Sandhills Sentinel photographer Melissa Schaub.