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It's about the people-a Chamber initiative takes off

Posted by: Bernie Dagenais on Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at 11:30:00 am

It’s about the people – a Chamber initiative takes off

The Main Line Chamber of Commerce Talent and Education Network (TEN) has placed 12 college students from four area colleges in four companies that chose candidates from the Chamber’s prescreened applicants.

The TEN internship pilot project is an outgrowth of the Regional Congress on Talent and Education, which the chamber hosted at St. Joseph’s University in June of 2013. A key action step from the event was to find ways to increase the number of internships in the region. The Congress was made up of college presidents and campus career office professionals, along with CEOs, CFOs and talent managers within many of the region’s most prominent companies.

The initiative sets out to help companies strengthen their talent pipelines while bolstering the regional economy. Data show the number of people with associates’ degrees or higher is, by far, the top determinant of per-capita income for a region. It is estimated that a 1 percent increase in the region’s bachelor’s degree attainment rate would generate an additional $4.4 billion in annual income for Greater Philadelphia residents. Surveys reveal that a paid internship is a prime indicator of whether students stay in a region after graduation. Colleges and students, both of whom face financial pressures, are highly motivated to use internships and find students jobs.

Inaugural companies using the program in 2014 were Allied Wire & Cable in Collegeville, Pep Boys in Philadelphia, LiquidHub in Wayne and Santander Bank in Philadelphia. The student interns attend Peirce College, St. Joseph’s University, Ursinus College and Villanova University.

The whole idea in our first year was to start small and experiment. We have a wealth of motivated college students in the region and companies that are concerned about where their future talent will come from. If members have thoughts or input regarding our talent initiatives, I would welcome hearing about them.

Have an energizing and profitable day.


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