ACC joins local & state leaders to tackle workforce gaps at SXSW

Austin Community College (ACC) partners with local and state leaders to examine the importance of higher education in closing workforce gaps with a two-day SXSW festival Sunday, March 10, and Monday, March 11. The Promiseland Project Presents: The Skill-Up Festival at SXSW runs from 5 to 8 p.m. both nights at America’s New Front Porch (217 Red River St.).

“As Austin continues to grow, we are facing a severe shortage of skilled workers, which affect your daily life,” says Dr. Richard Rhodes, ACC president and CEO. “America's community colleges are really the centerpiece for skilling up America and providing the right types of post-secondary credentials and training that will lead people into living-wage jobs and beyond.”

State Rep. Donna Howard, Austin Mayor Steve Adler, and Dr. Rhodes join co-founder and chairman of GSD&M Roy Spence Sunday on America’s New Front Porch to discuss the growing role of community colleges in our communities.  On Monday, Spence will host ACC students to learn about their experiences at ACC.

Both nights also include live music with Rolling Stone’s 2014 Best Up-and-Comer, Mamadear, and local bands featuring ACC students, faculty, and staff. Guests will experience an interactive mini-city with 15 booths spotlighting some of Austin’s most in-demand skilled trade careers including culinary, coding, dental hygiene, automotive technology and automotive collision repair, welding technology, HVAC, and biotechnology. Faculty and students will be on hand to demonstrate learned skills and answer questions about ACC’s academic and career pathways.

The event is sponsored by GSD&M’s Promiseland Project.

“We have to kill the myth that a four-year college path is the only path to success for young people,” says Roy Spence. “I think the promise of America, when we are at our best, if you are willing to work hard and take responsibility, everyone in the country should be able to live up to their God-given potential.”

SXSW wristbands and badges are not required. The event is free and open to the community. Registration is recommended. ACC will offer free shuttle service from the ACC Rio Grande Parking Garage on Sunday, March 10, from 2 to 9 p.m.

For more information and to reserve your entry, visit

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