Establish and staff the Wichita Falls Talent Partnership “backbone entity” to align the local talent pipeline

Recommendations:
• Ensuring that the right partners are “around the table” will be critical to the success of the Talent Partnership. Identify and secure commitments from an initial set of key partners (e.g. WFISD, Vernon College, MSU, the Chamber, etc.) then leverage the knowledge and connections of these organizations to involve a broad range of education and training providers and other important community partners

• Ensure that Wichita Falls’ diversity – racial and ethnic, cultural, etc. – is reflected in the membership of the backbone entity and its various action teams; engage individuals and organizations who can serve as “community connectors” to make certain that communities of color and other constituencies are represented in the Partnership and effectively served by programs and services

• Research best-practice models and engage a national network to assist in Partnership development; formally establish the Partnership entity based on the desired corporate model and pursue public and private sources of funding to ensure that it is professionally staffed and operated

• Retain professional staff to ensure the effective and collaborative operation of the Partnership

• Develop a “pledge of support” for partners to signify their commitment to working collaboratively to raise levels of educational attainment in the community

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UPDATES: 
Will be posted here as progress is reported

Task the Partnership with developing programming that enhances the local talent pipeline

Recommendations:
• Task the newly convened backbone entity with identifying a set of initial focus areas for the community to address through collective action

• As a first step, utilize partner knowledge to inventory existing programs and services to determine what is working well, identify gaps, and seek opportunities for alignment and enhancement

• Steering Committee members identified “pre-birth to 5” and the point at which an individual is about to enter the workforce as critical time periods on which the community should focus; based on research and input, initial focus areas could also reasonably include some or all of the following:

– Expanded access to early childhood education options for middle-income families

Kindergarten readiness. See Kindergarten Readiness Program in Marin County, CA

A range of wraparound services for students and families from low-income households and/or with limited English proficiency to address achievement gaps. See Parent University (Mesa, AZ)

– Connecting STEAM programming at the PK-12 level to “maker-focused” entrepreneurial efforts. See our Makerspace initiative and Dream It Do It

– Services to engage at-risk students and recent high school graduates who are neither working nor in school. See Cincinnati Youth CollaborativeReach Out to Dropouts

–  A community-wide program focused on retaining graduates by establishing long-term relationships between individuals and employers. See Greater Grads

– Programs to develop, retain, and/or attract teachers, professors, and instructors at all levels of the education and training pipeline

– Identifying options to develop additional dedicated public funding streams to support education and training institutions and programs

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UPDATES: 
Will be posted here as progress is reported

Create “action teams” beneath the Partnership to advance work in specific program areas

Recommendations:
 Create action-oriented teams under the backbone entity to align and enhance programs and initiatives in one or more of the focus areas.  Identify one or more members of the backbone committee to chair each action team

• Task chairs and other backbone partners with identifying additional organizations and individuals to populate each action team

• Through each action team, design and align programming, develop resources, and work directly with partners to ensure effective implementation

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UPDATES: 
Will be posted here as progress is reported

Develop accountability metrics and a robust data program that safeguards student privacy

Recommendations:
• Develop a set of accountability metrics to measure progress for all education and training partners

• Work with a network such as Alignment USA or StriveTogether to develop a student-level data program; develop protocols for safeguarding the privacy of students and families

• Create a partnership website to publicize high-level data through an online “data dashboard” and communicate progress to partners, investors, and the general public through annual reports

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UPDATES: 
Will be posted here as progress is reported