Lumina Foundation Designates Las Vegas as Talent Hub

Las Vegas granted $275,000 to support local efforts to increase

education beyond high school


LAS VEGAS–Lumina Foundation, in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, has announced the designation of Las Vegas and six other communities across the country as best-practice Talent Hubs. These cities, along with 17 others selected in 2017, earned this designation by meeting rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent. Talent Hub cities are focused on raising the nation’s overall post-high school attainment level to 60 percent of working-age adults by 2025 and committed to eliminating deep disparities in educational outcomes among African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians, who fare poorly in contrast with white and Asian students.

“Together, we have an opportunity to solve part of a very complex problem in our community - a skilled workforce needed to meet employer demands and help families move out of poverty into sustainability. With the Las Vegas area's demand for a properly educated and skilled workforce, which is among the highest in the nation, and the incredibly low supply available in our community to meet that need, it’s critical that we work with our community partners to solve this complex issue,” said Scott Emerson, United Way of Southern Nevada President and CEO. “Those in our neighborhoods deserve a fighting chance to make a better life. By combining our efforts, we will close the achievement gap among underrepresented student populations, collaborate to address the challenges of the workforce education needs of Nevada, and co-develop new and innovative solutions to the critical issues facing the Las Vegas area.”

Nevada ranks third in the U.S. for job growth, while ranking 49th in educational attainment and last in college readiness. Focusing on the growing disparities in enrollment and completion rates, the Las Vegas area Talent Hub, comprised of partners College of Southern Nevada (CSN); Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE), Workforce Development; Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation for a New Nevada (OWINN) and United Way of Southern Nevada, will collaborate to increase the credentials of African American, Hispanic and low income learners.

“We are thrilled to have this new opportunity to increase college credential attainment in Nevada,” said College of Southern Nevada Acting President Margo Martin. “CSN’s faculty and staff look forward to partnering with the United Way of Southern Nevada, OWINN and the Nevada System of Higher Education’s leadership through the new Talent Hub designation. Together, we will use proven strategies to increase student success, helping even more students cross the graduation finish line and ultimately land jobs that support Nevada’s diversifying workforce.”

"Nevada’s economic success is dependent on increased participation in post-secondary education and closing the achievement gap among underserved populations. This grant will help CSN achieve its student success goals and increase Nevada’s highly-skilled workforce,” said Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Thom Reilly.

“We are proud to be engaged in this collaborative effort with committed partners to showcase and to keep building a dynamic workforce. This opportunity as a Talent Hub aligns with Governor Sandoval’s vision of a new Nevada in which all Nevadans are on a career pathway with the postsecondary credentials needed to engage and succeed in today’s thriving labor-market,” said Manny Lamarre, Executive Director, OWINN.

“We have added to the growing roster of top-flight cities committed to meeting the demands for an educated workforce,” said Jamie Merisotis, president and CEO of Lumina Foundation. “The Talent Hub designation serves both as an aspirational target for other cities and a foundation from which cities designated as Talent Hubs can build.”

Each community designated as a Talent Hub receives $275,000 in grant funding over 31 months. Grant funding will support local efforts to educate more people, allowing community and education leaders to better meet the specific needs of residents. Lumina will provide these funds in partnership with Kresge.

Integrating proven educational strategies of intensive student onboarding, academic maps, proactive academic and career advising, and instructional support and co-curricular activities, the partnership will also scale up practices of work-based learning, including the growing Registered Apprenticeship Program and industry/work-based credentials programs. Both strategies root success in intensive, proactive, and integrated student support/case management, which is particularly important for equity populations.

To date, Talent Hub investments by Lumina and Kresge total just over $10 million.

Kresge’s support of Talent Hubs comes from its national education program, which includes a focus on aligning and strengthening urban higher education ecosystems to help more low-income, underrepresented, and students of color gain access to—and succeed in—higher education.

Talent Hubs are one outgrowth of Lumina’s Community Partnerships for Attainment, which represented more than $10 million of grants to 75 cities across the country. This partnership, which began in 2013, continues to work directly with communities to expand educational opportunities beyond high school.

“With our partners at Kresge, Lumina’s Talent Hubs designation aims to deepen the impact of cross-sector, place-based efforts to increase higher education attainment in communities and cities across the country,” said Danette Howard, Lumina’s senior vice president and chief strategy officer. “Talent Hubs work closely with Lumina and national thought leaders to develop a customized action plan tailored to the needs of their specific communities, with a focus on increasing the percentage of post-high school credentials residents have earned. This effort is directly connected to Lumina’s mission of helping the nation ensure that 60 percent of working-age Americans have quality credentials by 2025.”


The seven new communities designated as Talent Hubs are: Corpus Christi, Texas; Detroit; Elkhart County, Ind.; Las Vegas; Mobile, Ala.; Rio Grande Valley, Texas; and St. Louis.

They join 17 other Talent Hubs: Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Boston; Cincinnati; Columbus, Ind.; Dayton, Ohio; Denver; Fresno, Calif..; Los Angeles; Louisville, Ky.; Nashville, Tenn.; New York; Philadelphia; Racine, Wis.; Richmond, Va.; Shasta County, Calif.; and Tulsa, Okla.

About Lumina Foundation Lumina Foundation is an independent, private foundation in Indianapolis that is committed to making opportunities for learning beyond high school available to all. Lumina envisions a system that is easy to navigate, delivers fair results, and meets the nation’s need for talent through a broad range of credentials. The Foundation’s goal is to prepare people for informed citizenship and for success in a global economy.


The Kresge Foundation was founded in 1924 to promote human progress. Today, Kresge fulfills that mission by building and strengthening pathways to opportunity for low-income people in American cities, seeking to dismantle structural and systemic barriers to equality and justice. Using a full array of grant, loan, and other investment tools, Kresge invests more than $160 million annually to foster economic and social change. For more information visit

About United Way of Southern Nevada

United Way of Southern Nevada unites our community to improve people’s lives. We bring donors, volunteers, nonprofits, and businesses together to help children enter school ready to learn, help high school students reach graduation day, and support individuals working to earn a degree or certification, all while creating stability for their families. Together, we step into the ring and invite others to stand with us as a united front against social injustices and forces keeping our community's most vulnerable residents from a good life. We are bold and innovative to solve our toughest problems. Together, we fight for the future of our community – and we will win. Join us at


About CSN
Founded in 1971, the College of Southern Nevada is the state’s largest and most ethnically diverse higher education institution. CSN is accredited through the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities and specializes in two-year degrees and workforce development that lead directly to high-demand careers or transfer to a university. It also offers five bachelor’s degrees in specialized fields and is the state’s largest provider of adult basic education and literacy training. CSN is a Minority Serving Institution and Nevada’s first Hispanic Serving Institution. CSN’s students create flexible schedules with day, evening and weekend classes taught on three main campuses and multiple locations throughout Southern Nevada or online. CSN — your future starts here. CSN is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action institution. For more, visit

About Nevada System of Higher Education
The Nevada System of Higher Education, comprised of two doctoral-granting universities, a state college, four comprehensive community colleges and one environmental research institute, serves the educational and job training needs of Nevada. NSHE provides educational opportunities to more than 100,000 students and is governed by the Nevada Board of Regents.

The Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN) helps drive a skilled, diverse, and aligned workforce in the state of Nevada by promoting collaboration and cooperation among key public and private entities focused on workforce development. OWINN works to address Nevada’s workforce needs by leveraging labor-market data, scaling career pathways that leads to industry-recognized credentials, expanding apprenticeships and work-based learning, and designing responsive workforce policies.

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Media Contact:

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Lumina Foundation Designates Las Vegas as Talent Hub