CMT, LCTCS and Louisiana Calling Aim to Increase Awareness of Educational Opportunities with Free Concerts throughout State

BATON ROUGE, LA. – November 8, 2017 – CMT today announced the eight colleges that will participate in its first ever statewide “Empowering Education” tour with country artist and Louisiana native Courtney Cole. Cole named the colleges earlier today on social media, confirming plans to return to her home state in the spring with free concerts at eight community and technical colleges. The tour with Cole is part of a multi-faceted partnership between CMT, Louisiana Community and Technical Colleges System (LCTCS) and Louisiana Calling that aims to increase the number of work-ready residents in the state.

The schools participating in the free statewide tour are:

  • Baton Rouge Community College- New Roads Campus, New Roads
  • Bossier Parish Community College, Bossier City
  • Central Louisiana Technical Community College- Rod Brady Campus, Jena
  • Fletcher Technical Community College, Schriever
  • Louisiana Delta Community College- Winnsboro Campus, Winnsboro
  • Northshore Technical Community College- Lacombe Campus, Lacombe
  • River Parishes Community College- Reserve Campus, Reserve
  • SOWELA Technical Community College, Lake Charles

  • *Dates and additional information forthcoming.

    The “CMT Empowering Education Tour of Louisiana” serves as an opportunity to build awareness of educational and workforce training opportunities available at the local level, particularly in rural communities. Each of the selected schools submitted a formal application outlining workforce goals specific to their community. Schools were chosen based on demonstrated need and the potential for how this partnership could make a positive impact in their community. Schools not selected for the tour will still receive support as part of the campaign, including customized co-branded marketing and promotional materials for use on radio, TV, online and in print.

    “CMT is excited to continue our commitment to our fans by showcasing opportunities to succeed through education,” said Lucia Folk, VP of Public Affairs at CMT. “We aim to use the power of music and storytelling to connect Louisianans to the incredible resources available to them through LCTCS and Louisiana Calling.” 

    “Congratulations to the students, faculty, chancellors and communities of the eight colleges selected to host one of the CMT Empowering Education tour stops,” said Monty Sullivan, president of the LCTCS. “Today’s announcement is the beginning of a community outreach initiative that we believe will increase the awareness of and enrollment in the many academic and workforce training programs offered at our colleges. Thanks to CMT for investing in the people of Louisiana.”   

    According to the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana has unprecedented demand for skilled workers throughout the state, and these positions often require training or education beyond a high school diploma. Earlier this year, CMT, LCTCS and Louisiana Calling committed to work alongside community and technical colleges in a statewide campaign to connect Louisianans with the many available opportunities for workforce training and education in their own communities.

    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 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.


    One of CMT’s “Next Women of Country,” Courtney Cole is forging her own path in music with a sound equal parts contagious and sassy. After a decade in Music City, Cole recently moved West to continue following her music dream in Los Angeles. Her journey to stardom is documented in a raw and telling self-produced documentary, aptly titled “Rockumentary.” Cole has opened for artists including Miranda Lambert, Kenny Chesney and Thomas Rhett, and has been named one-to-watch by Spotify and Huffington Post. Her EP “For The Love Of Me” is available now on digital retailers. Cole brings a bit of her hometown spirit of New Orleans into her music, her empowering lyrics and her live show. Check out Courtney at, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


    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.


    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.


    CMT Empowering Education is a comprehensive educational campaign that provides both an online resource,, 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).

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    CMT Empowering Education


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