Mission: Graduate "Talent Hub" Receives $350,000 in Funding

Challenge: Eliminate Disparities in Outcomes

Albuquerque has earned a designation that has placed it among the ranks of Austin, Texas; Boston and Philadelphia. But the title isn't the city's only reward.

Albuquerque earned a place among 17 cities as a "Talent Hub," the Lumina Foundation announced Monday. The title brings with it recognition of the Duke City having an environment that attracts, retains and cultivates talent – particularly among students – plus a $350,000 grant.

That money, provided by the Lumina Foundation and the national Kresge Foundation, is meant to help Albuquerque better people's education and expand education opportunities, according to a release.

The Indianapolis, Indiana-based Lumina Foundation is a private organization supporting missions to make higher education available to more people. The Kresge Foundation, based in Detroit, works to expand opportunities in American cities through grantmaking and social investing in arts and culture as well as community development.

The 17 selected Talent Hubs are challenged to eliminate "disparities in educational outcomes" among African-Americans, Hispanics and American Indians, the statement said.

Albuquerque’s Talent Hub is being led by Mission: Graduate, an initiative of United Way of Central New Mexico. The mission's goal is to graduate 60,000 people with college certificates and degrees in central New Mexico by 2020. Central New Mexico Community College and New Mexico Workforce Connection Central Region - helped design the plan.

Graduate! ABQ is one of the mission's key strategies, which helps locals get a post-high school education. Kathy Winograd, president of CNM, said the money and the efforts are a good way to help more people attain an education.

We're striving to significantly increase the number of college graduates in New Mexico, which is critically important for improving our workforce, our economy and our quality of life."

The $350,000 grant will be used over three-and-a-half years. Every Talent Hub city will receive the same amount of funding for their part. The rest of the hubs are: Austin, Texas; Boston; Cincinnati; Columbus, Indiana; Dayton, Ohio; Denver; Fresno, California; Los Angeles; Louisville, Kentucky; Nashville; New York; Philadelphia; Racine, Wisconsin; Richmond, Virginia.; Shasta County, California; and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

By May Ortega | Albuquerque Business First | September 26, 2021


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