The Greater Des Moines Partnership will participate in a new national program to help strengthen chamber of commerce partnerships with community colleges and organizations to increase the number of people of color who earn credentials or degrees. According to a news release, the Partnership is one of seven organizations selected by the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives [ACCE] to participate in the program. “We have an opportunity to be more intentional in outreach to members of one of our identified untapped talent communities who are looking to gain the education they need to be qualified for local job openings,” said Marvin DeJear Jr., senior vice president of talent development at the Partnership. The ACCE Foundation and American Association of Community Colleges identified a virtual cohort of teams from seven cities or regions. Each team will consist of a chamber of commerce, a community college and an organization that represents minority communities. The Partnership will partner with Des Moines Area Community College, the Evelyn K. Davis Center for Working Families, the Director’s Council, Oakridge Neighborhood, Children and Families of Iowa, and United Way of Central Iowa’s Central Iowa Works program. The team will join counterparts from the other regions on monthly virtual meetings to gain access to national experts, receive technical assistance and engage in peer activities to build strategies for long-term collaboration. The Lumina Foundation has provided a grant to jump-start the process. The other communities participating in the program are Aurora, Ill., Chattanooga, Tenn., Cleveland, Fargo, N.D., North Central Massachusetts and Tallahassee, Fla.