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What is a Talent Hub?

“In cities, much like America itself, talent defines what a city is and where it’s going.”

Jamie Merisotis, America Needs Talent

About Talent Hubs

In the last six years, hundreds of communities large and small have organized themselves to address fundamental concerns:

  • How do we make sure our most vulnerable populations have what they need to not just survive, but thrive?
  • How do we use our limited resources more wisely, and for greater impact?
  • How do we guarantee our community’s competitiveness and quality of life?

In 2013, Lumina Foundation made a significant investment in communities through the Community Partnership for Attainment. Through this effort, 75 communities received financial support, technical assistance and guidance, and networking and learning opportunities. The network catalyzed some incredible work, with many communities bucking national trends in decreasing enrollment, and supporting the creation of thousands of newly credentialed residents.

As Lumina took stock of this great work, however, we determined that the best next step was focus on how those places had worked—and to bring new rigor to a field that is, by definition, as unique as the communities that contribute to it. Further, Lumina’s laser focus on educational attainment beyond high school created an opportunity to differentiate communities that are working to support today’s talent needs. While efforts to improve early-childhood and K-12 outcomes are vitally important, America’s communities cannot wait a generation to build the talent they need today.

Talent Hubs, a term coined in America Needs Talent, are designated communities that organize and align themselves around goals to offer and create multiple pathways to postsecondary success, and work to retain, attract and cultivate talent.


READ MORE: Lumina Foundation And Kresge Foundation Designate Detroit As Talent Hub


The Talent Hubs designation, conferred by Lumina with support from the Kresge Foundation, aims to significantly accelerate community and regional attainment efforts. These designated communities will improve the ecosystem in which students follow the pathway to, through, and out of their postsecondary experience with a high-quality credential.

Talent Hubs will undertake aligned, system-change work with both community and postsecondary institutional partners to significantly improve student outcomes and to increase attainment beyond high school. Each Hub will focus intently on one of three populations: traditional-age students; adults with some postsecondary experience but no credential; or adults with no postsecondary experience. Further, Talent Hubs are committed to closing attainment gaps between student populations. Community partners will coordinate action to ensure that students are well-supported, can connect easily to the postsecondary system, have help to overcome barriers while enrolled, and are connected to the workforce once they complete their programs. Postsecondary partners will implement aligned, evidence-based practices and policies at scale to ensure that many more students can complete a credential.

Earning a Talent Hub designation is an acknowledgment that a community has both the capacity and ability to make significant gains in postsecondary attainment. Each Hub serves as an exemplar across five key domains:

  • The Equity pillar represents the community’s ability to explicitly close chronic attainment gaps between populations, particularly between racial and ethnic groups, using strategies that have been developed by viewing attainment issues through an equity lens.
  • Access work alone is insufficient in meeting the overarching national goal of 60 percent attainment by the year 2025; Attainment addresses the community’s focus on postsecondary success and credential completion.
  • Alignment is the degree to which communities leverage complementary bodies of work, community and institutional partners, and the network of local assets available to implement ambitious workplans for credential completion.
  • Scale and Systems-change addresses the systems-level action taken by communities and postsecondary institutions to create lasting and large-scale change at both the community and institutional levels.
  • Finally, Partnership Health is the extent to which communities work collaboratively to set and achieve common goals, use agreed-upon accountability tools and measures, and use data to make decisions about program direction and design.

To achieve its ambitious workplan, each Talent Hub community will receive financial, strategic, and technical assistance. Talent Hubs will learn and share best practices and common challenges through communities of practice, facilitated by national experts. Cross-site learning and collaboration will be bolstered by annual convenings, webinars, learning labs, and communication tools that elevate exemplars.

Each Talent Hub has set clear and specific targets for outcomes related to credential completion and to its discrete strategies. While these expected outcomes are often unique to each specific community, a set of common metrics will also be tracked to elevate the collective work of all Talent Hubs. Additionally, each postsecondary institution included in a Talent Hub community will provide disaggregated data on key metrics to Lumina and its partners through the National Student Clearinghouse.

Seven communities received Talent Hub designation in 2018.  Those communities join seventeen others designated in 2017.

The following communities are 2018 Talent Hub designees:

Corpus Christi, Texas

Lead Partner: Citizens for Educational Excellence
Population Focus: Some postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, low-Income, military veterans
Postsecondary Partner: Del Mar College

Detroit, Mich.

Lead Partner: Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation/Detroit Drives Degrees
Population Focus: Some postsecondary
Equity Focus: African-American, low-income
Postsecondary Partners: Macomb Community College, Wayne State University

Elkhart County, Ind.

Lead Partner: Horizon Education Alliance
Population Focus: No postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, low-income, immigrant/refugee, limited English proficiency
Postsecondary Partners: Goshen College, Ivy Tech Community College

Las Vegas, Nev.

Lead Partner: United Way of Southern Nevada
Population Focus: Traditional age
Equity Focus: African-American, Hispanic, low-income
Postsecondary Partner: College of Southern Nevada

Mobile, Ala. 

Lead Partner: Mobile Area Education Foundation
Population Focus: Traditional age
Equity Focus: African-American, low-Income
Postsecondary Partners: Bishop State Community College, University of Southern Alabama

Rio Grande Valley, Texas

Lead Partner: Communities Foundation of Texas / RGV Focus
Population Focus: Some postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, low-Income, limited English proficiency
Postsecondary Partners: South Texas College, Texas Southmost College, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

St. Louis, Mo.

Lead Partner: St. Louis Graduates
Population Focus: Traditional age
Equity Focus: African-American, low-Income
Postsecondary Partners: Maryville University, Southeast Missouri State University, University of Central Missouri, University of Missouri St. Louis, Webster University

 

The following communities are 2017 Talent Hub designees:

Albuquerque, NM

Lead Partner: United Way of Central New Mexico (Graduate! ABQ)
Population Focus: No Postsecondary
Equity Focus: Latino, American Indians, Low-Income, Incarcerated, Males, ABE pipeline
Postsecondary Partner: Central New Mexico Community College

Austin, TX

Lead Partner: Quality of Life Foundation of Austin (Austin Chamber of Commerce)
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, Low-income, Unemployed/Underemployed adults
Postsecondary Partners: Western Governors University, Austin Community College

Boston, MA

Lead Partner: The Boston Foundation
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: University of Massachusetts Boston, Bunker Hill Community College

Cincinnati, OH (Covington, KY; Newport, KY; Cincinnati, OH)

Lead Partner: Strive Partnership (Intergenerational Success Project)
Population Focus: No Postsecondary
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income, Single Female heads of household
Postsecondary Partners: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College, Gateway Community and Technical College

Columbus & Southeast Indiana, IN (Ten counties in Economic Growth Region 9)

Lead Partner: Community Education Coalition/EcO Network
Population Focus: No Postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, Low-income, Immigrant/Refugee, Limited English Proficiency
Postsecondary Partners: Ivy Tech Community College Columbus, Adult Education Providers

Dayton, OH

Lead Partner: Learn to Earn Dayton
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Low-income, Some College population
Postsecondary Partners: Sinclair Community College, Wright State University, University of Dayton

Denver, CO

Lead Partner: Denver Education Attainment Network (DEAN)
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: Emily Griffith Technical College, University of Colorado Denver, Metropolitan State University of Denver, Community College of Denver

Fresno, CA

Lead Partner: Central Valley Higher Education Consortium / Fresno Compact
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: CSU Fresno, Clovis Community College, Fresno City College, Reedley College, West Hills Coalinga, West Hills Lemoore

Los Angeles, CA (San Fernando Valley)

Lead Partner: UNITE-LA
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: California State University Northridge, Los Angeles Community College District

Louisville, KY

Lead Partner: 55,000 Degrees
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income,
Postsecondary Partners: University of Louisville, Jefferson Community and Technical College

Nashville, TN

Lead Partner: Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce
Population Focus: No Postsecondary
Equity Focus: African American, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: Nashville State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology – Nashville

New York, NY

Lead Partner: City University of New York (CUNY) Academic Affairs
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income, Veterans
Postsecondary Partner: City University of New York (CUNY)

Philadelphia, PA

Lead Partner: Graduate! Philadelphia
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: African American, Low-income, Veterans
Postsecondary Partners: Community College of Philadelphia, Temple University, Thomas Edison State University, Chestnut Hill College

Racine, WI

Lead Partner: Higher Expectations for Racine County
Population Focus: Traditional Age
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College

Richmond, VA

Lead Partner: Bridging Richmond
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: African American, Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: John Tyler Community College, J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, Virginia Commonwealth University

Shasta County, CA

Lead Partner: North State Together
Population Focus: Some Postsecondary
Equity Focus: American Indian, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: University of California Davis, College of the Siskiyous, Shasta College, California State University Chico

Tulsa, OK

Lead Partner: Tulsa Regional Chamber
Population Focus: No Postsecondary
Equity Focus: Hispanic, Low-income
Postsecondary Partners: Tulsa Community College, Tulsa Technology Center