Corpus Christi Selected to Participate in National Initiative to Increase Equity In Higher Education and Regional Workforce

Corpus Christi, Texas​ – The National League of Cities (NLC) selected ​Corpus Christi​ as one of 12 cities that will meet in Washington, D.C. Nov. 30 – Dec. 2, to explore and build equitable pathways to postsecondary education and workforce success. Each city participating in NLC’s Leadership Academy: Promoting Postsecondary a​ nd Workforce Success has made a commitment to address inequities in accessing and succeeding in higher education as well as gaining meaningful employment.

According to City of Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez, “An educated and skilled workforce is key to our city's success. We have a great deal of hard work as well as opportunity ahead of us in meeting the demands of filling and retaining good paying jobs for our families. With vital partnerships with Citizens for Educational Excellence and the leadership role of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, we are honored to have been chosen to participate in NLC's Leadership Academy in promoting education as the pathway in building our regional workforce."

In March 2016, Corpus Christi Mayor Nelda Martinez gathered 19 stakeholders across all areas of education to agree on a strategy for increasing educational attainment in Corpus Christi, Texas. This initiative included the development of both vision and mission statements, as well as quantifiable goals, objectives and initial tasks for getting started. The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce was charged with carrying out the initiative through its Education and Workforce Division by staffing a vice president position with the expertise to direct the agenda, processes and strategic direction of the work, provide direction for education partnerships that would allow the Chamber to directly influence the quality of education in the public schools, and build the structure and provide leadership for work to accomplish career pathways to on-demand, unfilled jobs. The objectives of the plan are to (1) Build a More Robust Educational Alliance with Business and Industry, (2) Collect and Use Data to Create a Compelling Call to Action and Drive Decisions (3) Enhance Collaboration & Partnerships to Align and Leverage Resources.

Mayors and other city leaders know their efforts to build strong and vibrant local economies depend on their ability to develop and retain a well-educated workforce with 21​st​ Century skills.  To reach this goal, cities need both clear pathways to college and postsecondary programs that are responsive to regional workforce needs. Since the great recession over 95 percent of the jobs created have gone to individuals with education beyond a high school diploma, according to the Georgetown Center on Education and Workforce​. Cities are in prime positions to leverage
cross-sector partnerships and increase postsecondary attainment and workforce success. 

NLC, through its Institute for Youth, Education, and Families and with support from The ​Kresge Foundation​, will bring together city leaders from the government, education and business sectors and national experts that will help ​Corpus Christi​ develop strategies and expand the city’s efforts in ensuring all residents can earn a postsecondary certificate or degree as well as gain meaningful employment. Through this meeting, ​Corpus Christi​ will have the opportunity to join a cohort of cities that will work together through 2017 to implement innovative and sustainable education and workforce strategies that address major equity issues in cities. 

Learn more about this two-year body of work and other postsecondary and workforce solutions through NLC ​here​.
The 12 cities chosen to participate in the Leadership Academy include Austin, Texas; Charleston, South Carolina; Columbus, Georgia; Columbus, Ohio; Corpus Christi, Texas; Dayton, Ohio; El Paso, Texas; Houston, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Nashville, Tennessee; San Antonio, Texas; and South Bend, Indiana.


The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, Del Mar College, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi and other region institutions of higher education are partners under Citizens for Education Excellence (CEE).  CEE serves as a catalyst for bringing together people, information, and resources to increase postsecondary and job attainment by improving college and career readiness throughout the P-16 system.

Corpus Christi is committed to providing a foundation for eliminating the disproportionate rates of success for the citizens and students of differing backgrounds through supportive, multicultural community learning opportunities that provide challenging educational experiences that prepare the local workforce. With a vision of “Changing Lives and Creating Economic Prosperity in Our Community by Building the Strongest and Most Diverse Educational Pipeline in the Country” and a mission to “Maintain Meaningful Partnerships among Education, Business and Industry to Build Tomorrow’s Workforce Today through Increased Educational Attainment”, Corpus Christi will work collaboratively to fulfill the goals, objectives and tasks for the betterment of its citizens and the community.

The United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce is an 1100 member organization representing business in the Coastal Bend region of South Texas. Our members and volunteers represent a cross section of all types and sizes of business in our community.

The National League of Cities is dedicated to helping city leaders build better communities. NLC is a resource and advocate for 19,000 cities, towns and villages, representing more than 218 million Americans. ​The Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, a special entity within the National League of Cities, helps municipal leaders take action on behalf of the children, youth, and families in their communities.