Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge

The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge 2023 invited organizations to develop bold, innovative ideas that equip young people with skills to participate in the workforce and address the Ten Standards for a Skills-Friendly Cities.

1 in 10 young people

are not in school and not employed in the U.S.

We created this Challenge to address the gap that businesses and educators know all too well: Millions of jobs across the U.S. go unfilled because employers cannot find people with the right training.

Southern California College Attainment Network (SoCal CAN)

Meet the 2023 Winner of the Big Ideas Bright Cities Challenge

SoCal CAN’s mission is to increase access to and completion of post-secondary education for underrepresented students through collective action. Project SOAR, a partnership between SoCal CAN and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA), provides comprehensive college and career advice to public housing residents, focusing on breaking the cycle of poverty.

Please join us in celebrating the 2023 Big Ideas Bright Cities Challenge Winner Southern California College Attainment Network (SoCal CAN) and 14 other outstanding finalists from across the U.S. These 15 organizations have been chosen from a wide pool of applicants to join the growing network of Skills Friendly Cities thanks to their exceptional “big ideas” to provide young people with essential skills for workforce readiness, addressing the growing skills gap.


Location map of winners & finalists of the Skills Friendly Cities Big Ideas, Bright Cities challenge.

Winners & finalists of the Big Ideas, Bright Cities challenge.

Photo of the Executive Director of Global Business Coalition for Education, Justin Van Fleet

With this Challenge, we’re spotlighting groundbreaking work across the country to nurture skills in young people.

Justin Van Fleet, Chief Executive Officer

The Big Ideas, Bright Cities Challenge is supported by:

Maia Wagner, director of global programs and community engagement at Dell Technologies

“A ‘skills-friendly’ city does more than just train its workforce.  It cultivates an ecosystem of technology, education, and community support that sets its people up for future success.

We are proud to support this holistic initiative that drives innovation at the community level.”

A black and white image of Kwasi Mitchell. Chief Purpose officer at Deloitte US

Kwasi Mitchell, chief purpose officer at Deloitte US

“As the workforce evolves, so should the way we think about supporting youth and providing access to resources and education that can match the skillset required for them to fulfill their career aspirations.

We’re proud to support the Global Business Coalition for Education in its commitment to helping address the systemic barriers that can stand in the way for today’s youth and providing resources that can help create a better, more equitable future for all.”

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