News TemplateAurora Regional Chamber of Commerce Selected for National Workforce Training Program

One of Seven Regions Selected to Increase Access to High-Quality Credentials for African-American and Latinx Adults

(AURORA, IL) – The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce, the voice of and catalyst for business success in the Aurora region, is elated to announce that it is one of seven organizations to be selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) to participate in a new national program to help strengthen chamber of commerce partnerships with community colleges and community organizations to increase the number of adult learners of color who earn an industry-relevant credential or degree.
“We believe that developing a strong workforce is not only the key to business success, but it is the key to our region’s success,” said Jessica Linder Gallo, President & CEO of the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce. “It is imperative that organizations across the region build strong collaborations and find new ways to empower our workforce; our data points heavily toward adult learners of color, specifically our African-American and Latinx populations, and we could not be more proud to be leading the way in this effort along with our partners.”
Partnerships between chambers of commerce and community colleges have the potential to significantly increase the number of adult learners of color completing high-quality, relevant, short-term credentials and degrees. Given the current spotlight on upskilling and the resources that are being reallocated to fund short-term credentials, now is the time to capitalize on the potential for these partnerships.
To support the development of these partnerships, and to increase the number of workers with in-demand credentials and degrees, Lumina Foundation has provided a grant to jumpstart progress. The ACCE Foundation (ACCEF) and American Association of Community Colleges identified a virtual cohort of teams from seven cities or regions. Each team will be comprised of a chamber, a community college partner and an organization that directly represents minority communities.
Representing Aurora, the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce will team up with Waubonsee Community College and Quad County Urban League to identify the barriers to credential attainment and create quick-win solutions to address those challenges. The Aurora team of organizations will join teams from six other regions on monthly virtual convenings to gain access to national subject matter experts, receive customized technical assistance and engage in peer-to-peer learning activities to create a strategy for longer-term collaboration to build momentum after the grant period ends.
The other regions participating in the program include: 

  • Chattanooga, Tennessee

  • Cleveland, Ohio

  • Des Moines, Iowa

  • Fargo, North Dakota

  • North Central Massachusetts

  • Tallahassee, Florida

“We are grateful for Lumina Foundation’s continued support for the catalytic leadership chambers of commerce provide in the communities they serve,” said ACCE President & CEO Sheree Anne Kelly. “Strong cross-sector partnerships are crucial to addressing workforce challenges, building resilient local economies and creating opportunities for everyone to thrive.”
About the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives
Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives (ACCE) is the professional society supporting the women and men who lead local, regional, statewide and international chambers of commerce and related business and economic development organizations. Our membership includes more than 1,600 business/civic organizations worldwide. We provide our members with information resources, thought leadership, education programs, original research, benchmarking, retirement security and access to a network of peers.
About the Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce is the voice of and the catalyst for business success. We unite businesses with the community to create economic prosperity while facilitating connections with community leaders. For more than 100 years, we have served the greater Aurora region across four counties (DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will), and currently represent nearly 600 businesses. We have earned the 5-star accreditation from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an honor bestowed on only 1% of Chambers nationwide. Learn more at
About Quad County Urban League
The Quad County Urban League (QCUL) supports racial justice, civil rights and economic empowerment for African Americans and others within the Quad Counties (DuPage, Kane, Kendall and Will) of Illinois. As an advocate for educational excellence and economic self-reliance; we develop programs and services to empower children, youth and adults. Quad County Urban League was founded in 1975 by a diverse group of local leaders responding to the absence of a community-based organization to address the needs for academic achievement, job placement and training, equal access to employment, housing and cultural enrichment for low-income and displaced citizens. Sharing the commitment of the 110-year old community-based Urban League movement, QCUL joins 98 other dedicated affiliates in their charge to create sustainable economic and civil community models with global impact.
About Waubonsee Community College
Founded in 1966 to serve portions of Kane, Kendall, DeKalb, LaSalle, and Will counties, Waubonsee Community College has produced more than 40,000 alumni and continues to prepare learners for success through transfer programs, workforce education and training, pre-college programs, and more. Waubonsee includes a network of four local campuses (Sugar Grove, Aurora Downtown, Aurora Fox Valley, and Plano), in addition to offering online education. Learn more at
Jessica Linder Gallo, President & CEO, Aurora Regional Chamber of Commerce
(630) 256-3181 |
Amy Shields, Executive Director, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Foundation
(703) 998-3530 |