College for America to Visit White House Friday to Help Employers Upskill America at Summit

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College for America at Southern New Hampshire University will visit the White House this Friday to present employers nationwide with tools that can help frontline workers gain new skills at the White House Upskill Summit.

We're deeply committed to educating our workforce in order to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and their families while offering our employees the opportunity to advance in their careers.

College for America at Southern New Hampshire University will visit the White House this Friday to present employers nationwide with tools that can help frontline workers gain new skills at the White House Upskill Summit. College for America partners with employers to offer low-cost, competency-based degree programs that are uniquely applicable in the workplace and designed to fit around the busy life of a working adult.

During his State of the Union address, the President launched a new Upskill initiative, calling on businesses to help workers of all ages earn a shot at better, higher-paying jobs, even if they do not have a higher education. The White House Upskill Summit brings together employers, labor unions, foundations, educators, workforce leaders, non-profits and technologists who are committing to take action in the next year to enable millions more frontline workers to realize their full potential at work and advance into better paying jobs. The commitments being announced at the summit already represent significant action and progress since the President’s January call to action. At the summit, participants are developing plans to work together to build on these commitments by more widely promoting the adoption of upskilling training and career advancement strategies that improve workers ability to earn more over time.

MJ Ryan, Director of Workforce Development at Partners HealthCare, said, "We're deeply committed to educating our workforce in order to ensure that we continue to deliver the highest level of care to our patients and their families while offering our employees the opportunity to advance in their careers." Partners HealthCare is among many College for America partners making a commitment to the White House Upskill Summit.

“Most employers would rather help a current employee gain the skills needed for a promotion rather than hire directly from the outside—but many traditional college degree programs are built for 18-year-olds trying to find themselves, not 40-year-olds trying to get ahead in their job and career,” said College for America Chief Workforce Strategist Julian L. Alssid. “College for America is engineered for working adults and their employers, and we’re excited that the promise of competency-based education for frontline workers is beginning to spread rapidly nationwide.”

Alssid will be visiting the White House along with College for America's Chief Marketing Officer Colin Van Ostern. The two will present at the summit with details and case studies about how CfA’s competency-based, accredited degree programs help working adults achieve a respected degree from Southern New Hampshire University through online, project-based work.

“Helping working adults achieve a college degree and get ahead in their career is a huge win-win for both employers and employees,” said Van Ostern. “Smart employers nationwide are hungry for new tools to help upskill capable workers who lack a college degree, and we’re excited to be able to share case studies of how competency-based higher education can help individual workers realize their dreams while their employers benefit from a strengthened workforce.”

Since launching in 2014, College for America has enrolled more than 2,000 students from more than 75 employers across the country, including Anthem, McDonald’s, and some of the nation’s largest and most respected hospital and health systems. According to a late 2014 survey of all students and graduates, 99% report the skills learned in the program will help with their employment goals. It also reports that most students expect to accumulate zero debt whatsoever from the degree program through a combination of the degree’s low cost ($2,500 a year), the widespread use of employer’s existing tuition reimbursement benefits for employees, and the availability of federal financial aid to eligible students in the school’s popular associate degree programs.

College for America is part of the nonprofit, 83-year-old Southern New Hampshire University, a fully-accredited higher education institution.

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Linnae Selinga
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