North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce Selected for Education and Workforce Fellowship Program

 Christopher McDermott selected for prestigious national program which connects chambers with opportunities to engage on critical education and workforce issues

The North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce is one of 35 state and local chambers chosen to take part in a national program aimed at addressing critical education and workforce issues. Sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, the Business Leads Fellowship Program trains and equips participants with resources, national expertise and a network of peers to build their capacity to address the most pressing education and workforce challenges.  

“Businesses in North Central Massachusetts are struggling with the same challenges their peers are throughout the country.” says Christopher McDermott, Public Affairs Manager of the North Central Massachusetts Chamber, who is participating in the third cohort of the program on behalf of North Central Massachusetts. “Recruiting, training and retaining qualified and skilled workers has grown increasingly difficult in recent years. This is a great opportunity for the Chamber to actively contribute to the national conversation while learning best practices from our counterparts in other states that can help us make an impact locally.”

“We created the Business Leads Fellowship Program in response to the needs of our state and local chamber partners,” says Cheryl Oldham, Senior Vice President of the Center for Education and Workforce. “They, better than anyone, see the critical link between education and economic development, and we are glad to be able to support them as they take on this critical leadership role in their community.”

The 35 chamber professionals included in the third cohort of Business Leads Fellowship were chosen through a competitive selection process. The four-month fellowship, which concludes in September, 2019, will cover the entire talent pipeline, including early childhood education, K-12, higher education and workforce development.

The objectives of the program align with the North Central Massachusetts Chamber’s efforts around improving the workforce, which are most recently exemplified by the publication of its recent report Build North Central: Improving the Industrial Heart of Massachusetts.

Upon completion, Business Leads Fellows will join the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation’s dedicated network of 200 chambers of commerce and statewide associations from around the nation who regularly engage on education and workforce initiatives.