To better understand ideas and strategies for promoting and boosting college completion rates, Mayor Wharton has partnered with Mayor Tom Bates of Berkeley, CA, Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, KY, and Mayor Ralph Becker of Salt Lake City, UT to launch the Mayor's Institute on Children and Families. Sponsored by the National League of Cities and with support from the Lumina Foundation, the joint collaboration effort gives cites a forum to discuss, understand, and ultimately solve shared difficulties and challenges.
The Mayors participated in a conference in Denver in June of 2012 where Mayor Wharton presented some of the challenges facing the Memphis community and received feedback on how to go about tackling the obstacles at hand. The conference gave Mayor Wharton the opportunity to speak proudly of the success of a local brewery formerly in need of qualified employees that partnered with Southwest Tennessee Community College to offer specialized training to fill the brewery's job vacancies.
The Memphis Talent Dividend has also secured a grant from the Plough Foundation in the amount of $1.7 million to help 200,000 Memphis adults complete their degrees. The challenges of cultivating a postsecondary education culture may seem daunting, but know that the city of Memphis is intent on increasing college graduation rates.
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NLC.org Article - As Cities Seem to Connect Residents to High Wage Jobs, More Mayors Lead College Success Initiatives