Nashville Talent Hub Featured on Lumina Foundation Webinar Series

In June 2020, Laura Ward, Senior Director of Talent Development with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce was a featured panelist in the Lumina Foundation Community Network Webinar Series. Laura highlighted the work of the Nashville Talent Hub and Reconnect Cafes located on two campuses of Nashville State Community College, and the important role college navigation serves in retaining students in Nashville, especially those who live in the Nashville Promise Zone.

Adapting a model that was originally created to maximize access to health care, college navigators have become a powerful asset in demystifying higher education for adults considering college for the first time, for others who desire to return to complete a credential, and for traditional students who are the first in their families to attend college. Navigators can be near-peers in relation to the target population to be served and can be anchored in educational, community, and business settings as they work across sectors to smooth the way into college and to set students up for success once enrolled. Panelists were collaborative leaders and expert practitioners. They explained why they felt the navigator strategy would succeed where others had failed, how their programs are structured and function, and what it takes to launch, scale, and sustain college navigators. All participants will have the opportunity to hear the full panel and visit presenter breakout rooms to have a deeper discussion about the potential of this strategy to impact enrollment, success, persistence, and equitable attainment.

In Nashville, Nashville Reconnect is part of a broader movement called Navigate Reconnect, centered on providing support to adults who are using TN Reconnect Grants to earn a degree or credential.

Here are links if you are interested in watching a recording of the webinar or exploring the resources shared by the speakers:

Nashville has been a Lumina Foundation Talent Hub since 2017. If you are interested in learning more about the Reconnect Cafes and how employers can engage with adults earning a degree or credential, contact Laura Ward at

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