Los Angeles Added to Lumina Foundation's Postsecondary Education Attainment Strategy

June 5, 2014 9:00 am

Los Angeles – Today, the Lumina Foundation added Los Angeles to the 35 communities selected as part of its postsecondary education attainment strategy led by the L.A. Compact, a bold commitment by regional leaders from the education, business, civic, labor, and non-profit sectors to transform education outcomes and ensure that today’s youth have the skills to succeed in a 21st century global workforce. In partnership with the City of Los Angeles and Mayor Eric Garcetti, the L.A. Compact, which UNITE-LA and the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce convene, will have the opportunity to join Lumina Foundation’s collaborative strategy. 

“Higher Education is the key force behind prosperity,” said David Rattray, senior vice president of Education & Workforce Development at the L.A. Area Chamber and President of UNITE-LA. “We in Los Angeles are very excited to be a part of this national effort, not only to leverage the resources and expertise the Partnership provides, but to share what we know with other communities working on the same challenges.” 

Lumina’s goal for this work is to mobilize all sectors in a community to improve postsecondary attainment. This collaborative strategy connects participating cities with significant technical and planning assistance, data tools, flexible funding, and the ability to customize attainment plans that will best suit each community’s needs and the well-being of its residents. 

Communities will partner with Lumina and national thought leaders through 2016 to establish higher education attainment goals. Community partnerships will work with national partners to develop an action plan focused on establishing and achieving regional college attainment goals to increase the percentage of high-quality credentials held by community residents. 

Lumina plans to invest approximately $5.6 million into the second cohort and over $13 million directly to communities over the course of the program. Each community will be eligible for an allocation of $160,000 over a 2.5-year period, which will be tied to achievement of higher education goals. The grant will support the L.A. Compact’s Institutions of Higher Education Collaborative and its regional Student Success Workgroup. 

The overall effort connects to Goal 2025, a national goal to increase the percentage of Americans with high-quality degrees and credentials to 60 percent by the year 2025. Lumina’s partners in this effort will provide guidance to cities as they develop goals and action plans. The national thought-leadership organizations that communities will have access to through this work include: the American Chamber of Commerce Executives, the Brookings Institution, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, DCA Inc., Excelencia in Education, the Institute for Higher Education Policy, the Michigan College Access Network, the National College Access Network, the National League of Cities, the OMG Center, the Say Yes to Education Foundation, and Strive Together.

“Research shows a direct correlation between thriving cities and education beyond high school,” said Jamie Merisotis, Lumina’s president and CEO. “Increased attainment delivers stronger local economies, greater individual earning power and better quality of life. Every community in America wants that, and we’ve designed this work to give civic leaders the tools they need to be successful.” 



The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce represents the interests of business in L.A. County. Founded in 1888, the Chamber promotes a prosperous economy and quality of life in the Los Angeles region. For more information, visit www.lachamber.com.


Signed in 2010, the L.A. Compact is a bold commitment by Los Angeles leaders from the education, business, civic, labor, and non-profit sectors to transform education outcomes from cradle to career, ensuring that today’s youth have the skills necessary to compete and succeed in a 21st century global workforce.


About Lumina Foundation:  Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation committed to increasing the proportion of Americans with high-quality degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025. Lumina’s outcomes-based approach focuses on helping to design and build an accessible, responsive and accountable higher education system while fostering a national sense of urgency for action to achieve Goal 2025. For more information, log on to:  www.luminafoundation.org



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