March 23, 2011

Contact: Jeff Harris
The Aspen Institute
202-736-3848/jeff.harris@aspeninstitute.org

 New Initiative by UPS to Expand Community College-Employer Partnerships
Announced at Department of Education Community College Summit

Washington, DC, March 23, 2011 –– Skills for America’s Future, a national initiative to connect employers with community colleges to provide 21st century skills to American workers, today announced a significant commitment by UPS, the world's largest package delivery company. The announcement was made at the US Department of Education’s Community College Summit in Indianapolis. As its commitment to Skills for America’s Future, UPS will 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,” said Arne Duncan, US 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 workforce partners, enabling students to have the skills necessary to find and retain jobs in a 21st Century Economy. Announced in October 2010 by President Obama, the effort has already received commitments from some of the nation’s leading employers including Accenture, Gap, Inc., Pacific Gas & Electric, McDonalds, and United Technology Corporation (UTC). The commitment by UPS to Skills for America’s Future was featured prominently during the US Department of Education’s third Community College Summit, held at Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, Indiana.

UPS has trained more than 15,000 community college students with its Metro College Program at WorldPort, its Global Air Operations hub in Louisville, Kentucky, 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.

“We are pleased to have this commitment from UPS, a global leader in its field. UPS has shown true dedication to helping train the American workforce, and its latest commitment to Skills for America’s Future is another step towards that goal,” said Skills for America’s Future Chair and Chicago businesswoman Penny Pritzker. “Partnerships like this one between employers and community colleges are a win for students, a win for businesses, and a win for our economy. Skills for America’s Future will continue to help build similar, high-impact partnerships across the country.”

“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,” said Teri McClure, UPS general counsel and senior vice president, 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 workforce, 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, stabilized its workforce and provided an educated pool of employees for promotion. 

UPS’s commitment to Skills for America’s Future will involve bringing more Louisville employers into the process, promoting career opportunity for community college students, and boosting local economic growth. Its Workforce Advisory Board Initiative will encourage students at Metropolitan College in Louisville to choose identified career tracks and academic plans that currently are in high demand by employers. Specifically, new employers will have an interactive role with the educational institutions to assist in identifying academic skills their companies need.

Skills for America’s Future, an initiative of the Aspen Institute, is a non-partisan partnership of businesses and community colleges. Its purpose is to address the dual problems of high unemployment and the difficulty many employers face in finding workers with the right skills by connecting employers to community colleges and workforce partners so students can be better equipped with the skills necessary to find and retain jobs in a 21st century economy.

UPS (NYSE:UPS) is a global leader in logistics, offering a broad range of solutions including the transportation of packages and freight; the facilitation of international trade, and the deployment of advanced technology to more efficiently manage the world of business. Headquartered in Atlanta, UPS serves more than 220 countries and territories worldwide. The company can be found on the Web at UPS.com and its corporate blog can be found at blog.ups.com. To get UPS news direct, visit pressroom.ups.com/RSS.

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