Fellowship Provided State and Local Chambers with Opportunities to Engage Nationally on Critical Education and Workforce Issues
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced Erin Olson, Research Strategist of the Minnesota Chamber Foundation graduated from its premier business leadership program. The inaugural Business Leads Fellowship Program trained and equipped leaders from state and local chambers of commerce with resources, access to experts, and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.
“The business community is the key to solving our state’s talent shortage and skill misalignment,” said Erin Olson. “Chambers of Commerce are uniquely positioned to help infuse the critical skills of tomorrow’s economy into our educational system from early childhood through postsecondary.” Olson provides labor market research, consultation, and employer engagement support to higher education, high school CTE programs, employer associations, workforce development, and career pathway initiatives across Minnesota.
“As clearly displayed throughout this program, state and local leaders know better than anyone the critical link between education and economic development,” says Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the Center for Education and Workforce. “Not only did the Fellows gain a network of peers and experts in the field, the program is designed to help these leaders find opportunities to develop initiatives that will continue to advance the growth of their local economy and put education policy into practice.”
Following a competitive application and selection process, Olson was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives across the nation to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended this week, covered the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.
Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.
Given the overwhelming interest in the program, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation will host a second cohort in spring 2019.
For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.