Skills for America’s Future, a national initiative to connect employers with community colleges to provide 21st century skills to American workers, announced a commitment by UPS to institute a new Workforce Advisory Board to expand the career options for students in community college training programs, improve job placement rates and promote economic growth in local communities.
“Partnerships between community colleges and business are key to helping students move from the classroom to the workplace and careers,” says Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. “We applaud UPS and other corporate leaders for joining the Skills for America’s Future initiative announced by President Obama, as we all work together to educate our way to a better economy.”
Skills for America’s Future is a new initiative to link employers to community colleges and work force partners, enabling students to have the skills necessary to find and retain jobs in a 21st Century economy. Announced in October 2010 by Obama, the effort already has received commitments from some of the nation’s leading employers, including Accenture, Gap Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric, McDonalds and United Technology Corporation.
UPS has trained more than 15,000 community college students with its Metro College Program at WorldPort, its Global Air Operations hub in Louisville, Ky., and its Chicagoland Regional College Program at its logistics hub in Chicago, as part of its public-private partnership with state and local governments and community colleges. UPS’s commitment to Skills for America’s Future will build on this success by creating a consortium of employers who will work with the community colleges to identify needed skills for the jobs of the future and hire the students once they have graduated.
“Skills for America’s Future is the kind of innovative public-private effort that’s needed to encourage businesses to make bold efforts that will ensure Americans have the training and education to compete in the global marketplace,” says Teri McClure, UPS general counsel and senior vice president of legal and compliance. “At UPS, we are focused on economic development partnerships with state and local governments and community colleges that allow us to educate our work force, provide skills for their future and enhance our communities.”
Currently, UPS provides tuition, book reimbursement, bonuses and other benefits to UPS employees who attend the Metro College Program in Louisville and the Chicagoland Regional College Program. These partnerships have allowed UPS to remain and expand in existing locations, stabilize its work force and provide an educated pool of employees for promotion.