CMT ADDS 15 NEW COLLEGES TO ITS ‘CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION’ INITIATIVE

10/15/15

REACH NOW INCLUDES 25 COMMUNITY COLLEGES ACROSS
17 STATES IN RURAL COMMUNITIES


NASHVILLE – October 15, 2015 – CMT continues to add partner colleges to its CMT Empowering Education initiative with the addition of 15 schools across rural America, it was announced today by Lucia Folk, vice president of public affairs, CMT. The program aims to increase the number of residents with postsecondary credentials including degrees and certificates in economically-depressed communities. For the first time, CMT Empowering Education will expand into Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon and Texas, bringing the total reach of the program to 25 colleges across 17 states.

“Although the number of available jobs is on the rise nationally, many go unfilled to the lack of applicants with the necessary skills or credentials, Rural areas are among those which struggle the most,” said Folk. “Through this initiative, we’re working in smaller communities to highlight the available tools and resources to earn degrees and certificates. In less than two years we’ve nearly doubled our reach, but there’s still much more to do.”

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.

Hazard Community & Technical College (HCTC) in Hazard, Kentucky was the first to host such an event, and spotlighted coal miners who returned to school and found success re-training for different careers. Since HCTC held its CMT Empowering Education event in 2014, the school has added additional programs to accommodate increased demand.

Larry Jeffers, a coal miner for more than 17 years before being laid off, said “Through education and completing [the radiologic technology program at Hazard], I now have a job that provides me with opportunities for future employment as well as retirement. You can have success through education and with hard work and determination.”


New CMT Empowering Education partners include:

Big Sandy Community and Technical College, Prestonburg, KY

Bridge Valley Community and Technical College, Montgomery, WV

Eastern West Virginia Community and Technical College, Moorefield, WV

Gulf Coast State College, Panama City, FL

Jackson College, Jackson, MI

Klamath Community College, Klamath Falls, OR

Missouri Community College Association, Jefferson City, MO

North Iowa Area Community College, Mason City, IA

Northeast Community College, Norfolk, NE

Northwest State Community College, Archbold, OH

Paris Junior College, Paris, TX

Spartanburg Community College, Spartanburg, SC

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, Ft. Smith, AR in partnership with Rich Mountain Community College, Mena, AR

Yavapai College, Prescott, AZ

Zane State College, Zanesville, OH


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).


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CMT, 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, CMT.com and CMT Radio offer 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.


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PRESS CONTACT:

Amanda Murphy

615-335-8408

Amanda.murphy@cmt.com


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