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One of Five State and Local Chambers of Commerce to Receive $95,000 to Implement New Work-Based Learning Programs

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation today announced that the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce (BVCC) was selected to participate in its Career Readiness Lab and receive $95,000 to implement a work-based learning program to better connect students with academic and experiential learning opportunities in their community. Blackstone Valley was one of five state and local chambers selected across the country.

“We are so very proud to have been selected by the US Chamber for the Career Readiness Lab,” stated Jeannie Hebert, President and CEO of the BVCC. “This is a great honor indeed and an even greater opportunity for the Blackstone Valley Education Hub to develop innovative workforce training programs with our manufacturers and our Valley schools that can be shared across the nation.”

The Career Readiness Lab will build a network of chambers dedicated to fill the talent gap by developing and implementing strategic programming that promotes leading work-based learning and employment practices. Each participant is implementing an innovative program that creates opportunity for students and employers aligned to the economic needs of their region. Advised by national experts, participants of the program will establish sustainable, scalable models of work-based learning that can be replicated by chambers of commerce across the country.

For this program, the Blackstone Valley Education Hub Advanced Manufacturing Career Readiness Program’s remote classroom learning program will serve 10 high school districts with an employer-led curriculum, driven by local manufacturer demand directly aligned with current gaps in the local workforce to help fill those needs.

“With nearly 6 million young adults both out of school and work, there is a clear talent gap between the needs of the business community and how future talent is prepared for careers,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber Foundation Center for Education and Workforce. “The U.S. Chamber Foundation has a rich history of building capacity for employers to meet their talent needs and expand economic opportunity. Through this work, we have identified one primary avenue for new forms of business engagement in career readiness: work-based learning.”

In addition to the Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber Foundation selected four other chambers of commerce to participate in the program. To learn more about their initiatives, go to

The Career Readiness Lab will begin in January 2019 and conclude in the summer of 2020, at which point participants will report on best practices and lessons learned.

The Blackstone Valley Chamber of Commerce strives to promote the economic vitality of the Blackstone Valley, meet the needs of the Chamber’s business members and provide leadership on issues that enhance the economy and quality of life in the Valley.

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