There are 4.7 million jobs open right now in the United States according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, many of which remain unfilled due to a lack of skilled applicants. CMT and country music star Dustin Lynch are teaming up to encourage Americans in some of the most economically-depressed areas to go back to school as part of the cable network’s CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION initiative. With Lynch as the official spokesperson, the campaign highlights the important role community colleges play in providing affordable, relevant education and training aligned with the workforce needs in rural America.
CMT and Lynch are asking fans to pledge their commitment to education on social media using Thunderclap, an online crowdsourcing tool. If 500 people sign up to support CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION by September 18, Thunderclap will blast a concerted message of support across social media worldwide. As an incentive to participate in the Thunderclap, CMT and Lynch will award 10 participants with personalized gift packages, as well as one grand prize package for a VIP trip to the 2015 CMT MUSIC AWARDS in Nashville, Tenn. Fans can visithttp://thndr.it/1tTGZh1 to raise their voice for education now.
“Education has always been important to me and to my family. In fact, I made a promise to my family that I would graduate from college before pursuing a career in music,” says Lynch. “I’m proud to be working with CMT’s Empowering Education campaign to help others find their path to higher education and to new careers.”
“We believe everyone deserves the opportunity to reach their full potential with education beyond high school,” added Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT. “We’ve seen the skills gap first-hand in rural areas like Hazard, Kentucky, where coal miners are finding new careers in health care and other industries. With the aid of Dustin and the American Association of Community Colleges, we want to help our viewers narrow the gap and improve their quality of life.”
CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION announced a three-year partnership at the Clinton Global Initiative America earlier this year, aiming to raise visibility for education and rural workforce struggles. In partnership with the American Association of Community Colleges, the pilot year activities will focus on recruitment and retention efforts with 14 community colleges in some of the most distressed regions of the United States. CMT will support local efforts by highlighting student success stories, combatting perceived challenges, and providing customized toolkits for marketing efforts featuring Lynch. For a full list of participating colleges, click here.
CMT will leverage its national television and digital media partners to support the initiative with PSA’s that challenge viewers to go back to school. The network will also highlight it across CMT properties including CMT HOT 20 COUNTDOWN, CMT RADIO NETWORKS and more than 12 million followers across social media.
CMT Empowering Education launched in 2012 to encourage viewers, no matter their age, to enroll or re-enroll in school to reach their full potential. CMTEMPOWERINGEDUCATION.com offers crucial information and resources for prospective students, including tips for how to finance their education, a timeline for applying to school and access to a multitude of scholarship resources. By answering a few simple questions, users receive a customized action plan for completing school in a way that fits their individual needs and lifestyle.