Kalamazoo Promise: Community Mobilization

The Institute plays a key role in convening community stakeholders and deepening public awareness of the linkages between education and economic development.

Institute staff members participate in a variety of efforts to align and mobilize the Greater Kalamazoo community around the regional goals of the Kalamazoo Promise.

The Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo is aligning community forces to:

  • Emphasize the value of education as the key to individual and community prosperity
  • Leverage new and existing resources for initiatives that advance education and job-readiness
  • Help set and monitor a common agenda with community indicators to hold partners mutually accountable
  • Focus not only on individual learners and their families, but also on the critical transition points along the education continuum, to ensure a system is supporting learners to successfully traverse these points

President Randy Eberts served as one of the eight founding members of The Learning Network, assisting in forming the vision and initial structure of the initiative. Upjohn Institute staff members serve on The Learning Network's Backbone Team that provides core staffing for the overall initiative. The Institute leads the Backbone's data team and focuses on a three pronged effort in this work: developing and maintaining a community scorecard, implementing a data platform that collects and eventually integrates community based out-of-school time data with school based and adult learning data, and providing ongoing research support.

The Learning Network is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation.

Lumina Community Partnership for Attainment

The Upjohn Institute serves as the fiscal agent and coordinating partner with the Learning Network of Greater Kalamazoo, KRESA, KVCC, and the Kalamazoo Community Foundation to dramatically increase the number of county-wide residents with post secondary credentials. Kalamazoo County is one of 20 U.S. communities selected by the Lumina Foundation in 2013 to commit to this collective post secondary attainment goal.