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Arlington Chamber of Commerce “Center for A Competitive Workforce” American Chamber of Commerce Executives July 24, 2013 PowerPoint Presentation
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Arlington Chamber of Commerce “Center for A Competitive Workforce” American Chamber of Commerce Executives July 24, 2013 Presentation Wes Jurey President & CEO, Arlington Chamber of Commerce. Our Premise.

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Arlington Chamber of Commerce

“Center for A Competitive Workforce”

American Chamber of Commerce Executives

July 24, 2013


Wes Jurey

President & CEO, Arlington Chamber of Commerce

our premise
Our Premise
  • We’re living in a globally competitive yet integrated, knowledge based, innovation driven economy
  • The education of our future workforce is vital to our sustainability as a community, region, and country
  • The jobs we’re creating increasingly require a post secondary education and/or technical training beyond high school
  • The current generation could be the first generation to be less educated than the generation before
building public private partnerships
Building Public Private Partnerships
  • The Chamber, as an employer intermediary
  • The Chamber, as a convener
i ford foundation initiative
I. Ford Foundation Initiative


  • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • Jobs For the Future
grant challenge
Grant Challenge
  • Define role of Employer Intermediary in Education & Workforce Development
  • Develop models that are:
    • Sustainable
    • Replicable
    • Scalable

Once grant funds are expanded

el paso community challenge
El Paso Community Challenge
  • Loss of Garment Industry
    • 22,000 jobs
    • 11% of labor force
  • Implementation of SRI/DRI Plan
  • Need to retrain workers for jobs to be created
  • Creation of Center for Workforce Development
  • Abandoned Levi Strauss Facility
    • 100,000 square feet
    • 59 stakeholder tenants
  • Finance Resources Secured
    • DOL $45 million grant
    • EDA grant
    • EDI grant
    • NAD Bank Loan
  • Chamber Owned/Operated
  • Total jobs grew from 140,947 to 166,738, a 38.8% increase in net job gain over the decade, despite the actual loss of 22,000 jobs in the garment industry
ii 2 nd round ford foundation department of labor
II. 2nd Round Ford Foundation & Department of Labor


  • U.S. Chamber
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • Jobs for Future

Additional Funders

  • Annie E. Casey Foundation
  • Mott Foundation
arlington community challenge
ArlingtonCommunity Challenge

Lack of alignment among/between:

  • Universities
  • Community College Districts
  • Independent School Districts
grant challenge1
Grant Challenge
  • Define roles of Employer Intermediary in Education & Workforce Development
  • Develop Models that are
    • Sustainable
    • Replicable
    • Scalable
    • When the grant funds are expended
  • Established Center for Continuous Education and Workforce Development
    • Built, operated by UT Arlington
    • Local Workforce Board Commitment to lease, creating primary workforce center
  • Housed – All primary stakeholders in Tarrant County
initial outcomes
Initial Outcomes
  • Dual Credit Established in all Arlington high schools up to 32 credit hours
  • First University 4 year degree in Texas for $10,000 announced by TCC/UTA
  • Regional Workforce Leadership Council established
iii regional workforce leadership council
III. Regional Workforce Leadership Council

Public Private Partnership Example

  • Workforce Investment Boards (3)
  • Chambers of Commerce (3)
  • Business representatives

(from primary clusters)

north texas regional challenge
North Texas Regional Challenge
  • Lack of a cohesive approach to the development of a competitive workforce
  • 3 Workforce Investment Boards
  • 27 Colleges & Universities
  • 113 Chambers of Commerce

Industry Clusters Formed:

  • Aerospace
  • Healthcare
  • Infrastructure
  • Logistics
  • Technology
iv texas workforce commission grant
IV. Texas Workforce Commission Grant

Grant Challenge

  • Identify the primary challenges faced by Advanced Manufacturing in terms of securing a competitive workforce

North Texas Regional Challenge

  • Lack of skilled positions in Aerospace Industry
    • Machinists
    • Welders
  • Findings
    • Lack of training capacity

Established Regional Task Force

  • Dallas, Tarrant County Workforce Boards
  • Dallas, Tarrant County College Districts


  • Manufacturing Consortium established
  • Training Capacity created
v champion education
V. Champion Education
  • The Arlington Chamber established “Champion Education” as a formal public private partnership between the Chamber and our Independent School Districts
  • Champion Education was established to focus on 3 strategic goals:
    • To create community awareness: of both educational achievements and an understanding of the issues and challenges facing public and higher education
    • To act as a catalyst: for the integration and alignment of efforts among and between business, public & higher education, and workforce development
    • To establish initiatives: resulting in enhanced student achievement, attainment, and retention
  • 50.7% of students at risk
  • No Entrepreneurial Culture
  • Poor public perception
  • High dropout rate
  • Academic Achievement Discrepancy

4 Phase Initiative

  • What’s Your Big Idea – Grades 3-6
  • Partners in Education – Grades 7-8
  • Seamless Pathway – Grades 9-10
  • The Career Ladder – Grades 11-12
unmanned aircraft systems consortium
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Consortium


To develop the UAS Industry, from concept/design/prototype development to experimental flight/production/manufacture


U.S. Department of Defense

U.S. Department of Agriculture

U.S. Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Department of Interior

  • DoD currently buys 70% of all UAV’s manufactured in the world
  • DoD currently spends $1.9 Billion
  • DoD projects $36.9 Billion (2020)
  • Homeland Security agencies have strong interest
  • First Responder Community interest
  • USDA interest for agricultural use
  • DOI interest for land management
  • Lack of Workforce Training & Curriculum


  • Curriculum Development
    • Texas Workforce Commission
    • Higher Ed Coordinating Board
    • Governor’s Office of Economic Development
    • Universities/Colleges/School Districts
    • Industries
developing strategic partnerships
Developing Strategic Partnerships
  • Relationship Building – must take place at all levels
  • Engagement – integration of employers (and the organizations that represent them) with public, higher education, adult education, publicly funded workforce investment
  • Foundation for partnership based on Trust
  • Importance of Systemic Change (not MOUs)
systemic change walking the walk
Systemic Change: “Walking the Walk”

The path to strategic partnerships

  • The tipping point
  • Focus on commonality
  • Define the relationship(s)
  • Integrate your organizational charts
how to engage
How to Engage
  • Start at the top
  • Face to face
  • Full disclosure (open kimono)
  • Defined case for support
  • Put the “M” word on the table (face up)

(No one said it would be easy)

when to engage
When To Engage
  • At the beginning
  • In the planning stage
  • In the selling stage
  • In the implementation stage
  • In the evaluation stage

(This isn’t your father’s MOU)

things you can do
Things You Can Do…
  • Be the convener
  • Define the incentive – for each partner
  • Identify and define your economic drivers/industry clusters at state and regional levels
  • Identify and define the primary stakeholders – your potential partners
  • Define your expectations of them, and what they can expect from you – discuss the “M” word
  • Educate members, funders, investors, constituents, public
  • Remember: employer organizations provide a structured, organized framework for employer engagement and involvement
  • Get started