Talent Hubs

Last Updated: 04/02/2024

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Talent Hubs are U.S. communities that have shown the capacity and capability to significantly increase the number of residents with college degrees, certificates, or other credentials beyond a high school diploma. The Talent Hub designation signifies that a local or regional cross-sector partnership has met rigorous standards for creating environments that attract, retain, and cultivate talent, particularly among today’s students, many of whom are people of color, the first in their families to go to college, and from low-income households.

Bestowed by CivicLab, the Talent Hub designation is the only designation of its kind, is independently enforced, and serves as an aspirational target for other cities to aim and a platform from which partnerships designated as Talent Hubs can build.

As of May 2023, 25 U.S. communities have received the designation for their efforts to ensure that community residents of all backgrounds receive education and training after high school.  Each community is working with one of three populations of focus:

  • Students who enter college directly out of high school
  • Individuals who have education beyond high school but no credential
  • Individuals with no recognized learning beyond high school

Relation to Ecosystem

To be designated a Talent Hub, organizations, institutions, and industries within a community or region must be working toward significantly increasing the number of residents with a credential. The credentials help residents connect what they have learned to their current or future careers.


The Mobile, Alabama, Talent Hub aims to boost the college completion of 75,000 18- to 24-year-olds by creating pathways for students to transfer, receive a credential, and complete their education. It supports support students in four areas:

  • Increase persistence and on-time graduation. 
  • Create a transfer culture at the University of South Alabama.
  • Scale and promote high-quality certificate programs and pathways with multi-tiered supports for their target populations: Black and low-income students.
  • Improve system-level policies that drive attainment.

The Talent Hub of Detroit, Michigan is a collaborative effort between the Detroit Regional Chamber, Wayne State University, and Macomb Community College. In partnership, these entities launched a campaign—Detroit Drives Degrees (D3)—to re-engage the region’s 690,000 adults who have college experience but left before earning a degree. The goal is to help these adults earn a degree. Detroit’s Talent Hub uses four interwoven strategies to re-engage the targeted adults:

  • Leverage relationships and reduce barriers to regional collaboration. 
  • Overcome barriers to postsecondary attainment for working adults.
  • Strengthen academic pathways and practices that support adult attainment.

The Southwest Florida Talent Hub is led by the FutureMakers Coalition, a multi-county collective impact organization working together to ensure 55% of adults in Southwest Florida have college degrees, workforce certificates, and other high-quality credentials by 2025.  Over 300 partners across five counties generate individual and collaborative strategies to improve the education and workforce systems.  Recent work includes:

  • Leading a $500M Good Jobs Challenge effort to expand employment and training opportunities throughout the region.
  • Providing Navigators to support adults find and access high-quality education and training programs.


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