CMT PARTNERS WITH LOUISIANA COMMUNITY AND TECHNICAL COLLEGES AND LOUISIANA CALLING IN STATEWIDE PUSH ENCOURAGING RESIDENTS TO PURSUE HIGHER EDUCATION
Louisiana Native and Rising Country Star Courtney Cole Joins Mission with Eight-Stop Community College Tour in 2018
NEW ORLEANS, LA. - September 21, 2017 - In an effort to increase the number of work-ready residents in the state, nationally distributed cable channel CMT is joining forces with the Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System (LCTCS) and Louisiana Calling, a nonprofit organization working to connect Louisianans with pathways to career and financial success. The partnership was announced today at the 2017 LCTCS Annual Conference, and aims to work alongside community and technical colleges to increase awareness of career training at the local level. Louisiana native and rising country star Courtney Cole was on-hand for the announcement, where she committed to return to her home state for an eight-stop community college tour in 2018.
According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana has unprecedented demand for skilled workers throughout the state, and these high-value positions often require training or education beyond a high school diploma. The statewide campaign will offer eight community colleges the opportunity for additional support at a local level, including a free concert featuring Courtney Cole.
"We are excited to partner with CMT in this endeavor and for the opportunity to broadly address the critically important issues of educational attainment and workforce development," said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS. "Through our collaborative efforts, we will work to build the awareness of educational opportunities available throughout Louisiana and increase the number of citizens who receive life-changing academic and workforce training at our colleges, and in programs that lead to good paying jobs."
"This is an innovative partnership between CMT and the LCTCS that significantly invests in helping students become career-ready and improving the economic vitality of our rural communities," said Gov. John Bel Edwards. "This is something Louisiana needs especially when you consider that we are expected to add 225,000 new jobs by 2022 that will require some type of technical training. Congratulations to LCTCS and CMT on their collaboration and commitment to meeting the needs of our people in a way that will prepare them to earn a good living and supply business and industry with a well-trained workforce."
"After three years working with community and technical colleges across the US, we are excited to embark on our first-ever statewide tour alongside LCTCS," said Lucia Folk, VP, Public Affairs at CMT. "By focusing CMT Empowering Education efforts in Louisiana - where we have access to the support of LCTCS and the network of stakeholders that Louisiana Calling represents - we can be more effective in connecting even more people to the many high-paying jobs available in the state."
CMT's Empowering Education community college initiative, the channel's grassroots education campaign, was first announced in 2014 at the Clinton Global Initiative-America meeting. Working in collaboration with the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), the campaign experienced early success as the 10 pilot partner schools hosted local events, bringing star-power and helping put a face on education by highlighting success stories of students. Since 2014, the campaign has worked with 29 colleges in some of the nation's most economically-depressed regions to highlight the importance of earning a degree or certificate.
In 2017, Louisiana's community and technical colleges served and provided instruction and workforce training to over 131,000 students. More than 24,185 students graduated from our colleges, which represents a 23% increase in graduates over the last three years. Our colleges have earned a national reputation as colleges of excellence and as shining examples of efficiency and productivity. For two consecutive years, Lumina Foundation, one of the nation's most respected educational and philanthropic organizations commissioned that Louisiana has the highest percentage in the nation of working age adults who hold a high-quality post-secondary certificate and that the state's overall degree attainment rate improved from 48th to 26th in the nation.
ABOUT LOUISIANA CALLING:
Louisiana Calling is a nonprofit organization supported by a coalition of passionate people and committed organizations from all corners of the Louisiana and beyond. Louisiana Calling's mission is to develop and conduct a multiyear public messaging campaign that includes traditional media, new media, and on-the-ground resources and strategic partnerships - all designed to help Louisianans discover and appreciate the many educational pathways that lead to high-value jobs and sustainable careers available in Louisiana today.
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. Inaugural advising partners for the CMT Empowering Education campaign included 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).