The Lumina Foundation has named Racine one of 17 "talent hubs," a designation that will provide $350,000 in funding to improve college completion rates among minority and low-income students. The Indianapolis-based foundation awarded the designation to cities based on their efforts to create "environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent," particularly among students of color, first-generation college students and those from low-income households, the foundation said. Other cities named talent hubs include: Albuquerque, Austin, Boston, Cincinnati, Dayton, Denver, Fresno, Los Angeles, Louisville, Nashville, New York, Philadelphia, Richmond, Shasta County, Tulsa, and Columbus, Indiana. “These communities are the creative and entrepreneurial engines that power our nation,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “For our country to meet growing demand for an educated workforce, we must bolster community-based efforts that are tightly focused on increasing the numbers of people in cities across the country with education and training beyond high school.”Each city will receive $350,000 in grant funding over 42 months to support education efforts. The funding is provided in partnership with the Kresge Foundation. “The grassroots work community, business, and education leaders are undertaking in these Talent Hubs will help decrease education barriers, enabling more underserved students to earn college degrees, workforce certificates, industry certifications or other high-quality credentials,” said Danette Howard, Lumina’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “These types of programs are vital for the nation to meet the current and future needs of our ever-evolving economy.”
Racine's efforts will focus on boosting post-secondary completion among African American, Hispanic and low-income students. Higher Expectations for Racine County will partner with Building Our Future in Kenosha County, University of Wisconsin-Parkside and Gateway Technical College. The effort will focus on remediation reform, academic support and advising, maximizing credit transfers and shortening time to degree attainment, creating guided pathways and strengthening community partnership to support low-income, underrepresented students.