There are 5.8 million jobs open right now in the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of which remain unfilled due to a lack of skilled applicants. The Country Music Television (CMT) is teaming up with Spartanburg Community College to encourage area residents to attend or go back to college as part of the cable network’s www.CMT Empowering Education initiative. The campaign highlights the important role community colleges play in providing affordable, relevant education and training aligned with the workforce needs in rural America.
“Although the number of available jobs is on the rise nationally, many go unfilled due to the lack of applicants with the necessary skills or credentials, and rural areas are among those which struggle the most,” said Lucia Folk, CMT vice president of public affairs. “Through this initiative, we’re working in smaller communities to highlight the available tools and the resources needed to earn degrees and certificates. In less than two years we’ve nearly doubled our reach, but there’s still much more to do.”
The partnership with Spartanburg Community College is the result of an expansion throughout Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas, bringing the total reach of the program to 25 colleges across 17 states. CMT first announced the community college initiative in 2014 at the Clinton Global Initiative-America meeting. Working in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), CMT Empowering Education experienced early success as the 10 pilot partner schools hosted local events, bringing star-power and helping to put a face on education by highlighting success stories of students. Prospective students learned about solutions to some of the biggest obstacles they face, including financial aid and part time programs.
“Partnering with the Country Music Television through the ‘Empowering Education’ initiative is an amazing opportunity for us to reach even more prospective students,” explains Henry C. Giles, Jr., president of SCC. “Our goals align perfectly — empowering students of all ages to attend college, and then working with students to develop and execute a plan for their education and career. And, because of the popularity of country music today and CMT’s nation-wide reach, they are able to share the ‘community college’ message with not only the students in our community, but with thousands of students across the nation.”
CMT Empowering Education first launched in 2012 to encourage viewers, no matter their age, to enroll or re-enroll in college to reach their full potential. Giles adds, “Often the decision to attend college is the most difficult for individuals. However, CMT’s has made that first step easy for perspective students via their interactive website.” www.CMTEmpoweringEducation.com offers crucial information and resources for prospective students, including tips for how to finance education, a timeline for applying to college and access to a multitude of scholarship resources. By answering a few simple questions on the website, users receive a customized action plan for completing college in a way that fits their individual needs and lifestyle.
For more information on CMT Empowering Education, visit CMT.com, follow @CMTEmpoweringEd on Twitter or on Facebook.
About CMT Empowering Education
CMT Empowering Education is a comprehensive educational campaign that provides both an online resource, www.CMTEmpoweringEducation.com, and on the ground support to aid prospective students in overcoming the most commonly perceived obstacles to furthering education. The initiative is founded on education research and insights through a partnership between Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Advising partners for the CMT Empowering Education campaign include Achieving the Dream, the Association of Career and Technical Education, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Center for Workforce and Economic Development at the American Association of Community Colleges, the National Skills Coalition and Skills for America’s Future (the Aspen Institute).
About Country Music Television (CMT)
CMT (Country Music Television), a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S., CMT.com and CMT.Radio, and offering an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and are the top resource for country music on demand. The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT App, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD. For more information visit www.cmtpress.com.
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