A thirst for learning begins in infancy. As children grow, it is necessary to nurture their development and expose them to college and career possibilities to position them for success! The Chamber currently participates in a number of related initiatives:
Literacy is essential for personal and career success in the 21st century. According to the latest International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS), between 21 and 24 percent of U.S. adults performed at the lowest level measured for three sets of criteria, figures echoed by the National Adult Literacy Survey (NALS). The effects this has on society are as follows:
Poverty & Employment - On average, adults at the lowest levels of literacy:
- Earn about $230-$245 per week;
- Work only 18-19 weeks each year;
- Are more than three times as likely to receive food stamps (17-19% as compared to 4% of those who read at the highest levels);
- Are almost ten times more likely to be living below the poverty line (41-44% as compared to 4-8%).
- Between 31 and 40 percent of prisoners read at the lowest literacy level, which is at least 10 percentage points worse than the national average.
- Only four to seven percent of the prison population reads at the highest two literacy levels, as compared to 18 to 21 percent of the rest of the population.
Clearly making an impact on poverty, unemployment and incarceration begins with literacy. Encouraging literacy begins before birth. Soon-to-be parents must be taught healthy living habits and methods to provide early learning opportunities for their infants and young children.
The Chamber partners with local businesses to encourage this and make it happen.
Contact us to learn more about the Chamber’s literacy efforts and get involved.
During the educational process, it is important to expose children to future career opportunities available to them. The Durham Chamber is proud to support and offer several methods of doing this. These include:
- Futures for Kids (www.f4k.org), an online career exploration tool for students grades 8-12 with on-line connections to “Virtual” Career Coaches
- Educators + Students in the Workplace, is an opportunity for Durham Public Schools teachers, counselors and students to visit local companies and learn about skills needed in the workplace
- Superintendent’s Business Advisory Council for Academic Achievement, Durham Careers in Construction and Hospitality and Direct Connections. Annual events include:
Youth Career EXPO – The Youth Career EXPO is an opportunity for Durham students grades 7 - 11 and their parents/guardians to learn about over 200 local careers. Conversations include a discussion on the education needed for each career. The EXPO is a partnership with Durham Public Schools Career and Technical Education Division, Futures for Kids, Triangle Society for Human Resource Management and local businesses.
College and Career Readiness – This program helps local high schools students preparing to enter the workforce with career exploration, seminars, mock interviews, career and training advice and more. The Chamber partners with Durham Public Schools, Triangle Society for Human Resource Management, Duke University, North Carolina University and Durham Technical Community College on this initiative.