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 announced that Shelley Short, Vice President, Programs & Partnerships for the Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce/Associated Industries of Arkansas has 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.
“Business leadership in the areas of education and workforce policy and programming is vital as Arkansas continues to develop initiatives aimed at upskilling our workforce and providing pathways to a successful career – with or without a four-year college degree. From championing quality early-childhood education, K12 accountability, and exposure to multiple career options, the business community has the unique opportunity to advance policies aimed at providing maximum opportunities for Arkansans,” Short said.
“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, Short was selected along with 34 other state and local chamber executives to participate in the inaugural class. The four-month program, which ended in January 2019, 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 class in spring 2019.
For a full list of participants in the Business Leads inaugural class, visit the U.S. Chamber Foundation website.