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Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work

Capitalizing on community colleges as stable, flexible, and trusted organizations that can catalyze efforts to build socially just and economically prosperous communities.

America’s rural communities are the bedrock of our nation’s economic and fiscal well-being, but they are frequently under-resourced, struggling to gain the attention of policymakers and investors.

That’s why Achieving the Dream launched Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work, an initiative that aims to increase equitable student success by strengthening the capacity of rural colleges to prepare students for careers in today and tomorrow’s digital economy.

Meet the Rural Resiliency Cohort

Berkshire Community College Clovis Community College Columbia-Greene Community College Halifax Community College Louisiana State University-Eunice Northwest Mississippi Community College Southeast Kentucky Community and Technical College


Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work helps colleges implement whole-college reform efforts, provide students with in-demand skills that prepare them for the workforce, and connect students with careers in the digital economy that pay family-sustaining wages. In addition, the cohort works toward narrowing equity gaps and provides academic and personal supports to students.

Participating institutions are helping build a deeper understanding across higher education and among policy and funding communities for how rural colleges and their partners can promote the economic mobility of students and the vitality of their communities.


The Building Resiliency in Rural Communities for the Future of Work initiative was funded by the following organizations from 2020-2023:

  • Cognizant U.S. Foundation
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • The Community Focus Fund at the Chicago Community Foundation
  • Walmart
  • Ascendium Education Group

In 2024, ATD was pleased to receive philanthropic funding from Margaret A. Cargill Philanthropies, enabling the momentum of the initiative to continue.

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