Economic Opportunities Program
Economic Opportunities Program
Discovery Communication’s Discover Your Skills
- General public has access to a website resource which includes workforce skills education and career guidance
- Students are taught marketable skills and afforded internships through local partnerships
- Public Service Announcements aired on Discovery’s networks designed to inspire others to obtain skills training
Discover Your Skills Overview
“Discover Your Skills” is a nationwide, multimedia, public affairs campaign designed to address the growing decline in U.S. skilled labor by raising awareness about career opportunities and providing access to resources on marketable job skills.
How the Partnership Works
A company that employs approximately 1,500 people, Discovery partners with Montgomery College, a community college located near Discovery’s global headquarters in Montgomery County, Maryland. The partnership focuses on equipping students with the necessary skills to take advantage of today’s job opportunities. Designed to prepare students with these marketable job skills, the partnership includes internships, guest lectures from Discovery Communications executives, training on resume development and interviewing skills.
The centerpiece of this effort is DiscoverYourSkills.com, an online resource – developed in collaboration with Skills For America’s Future and the U.S. Departments of Education and Labor – that provides links and information to help educate, prepare and advance entry to the workforce.
Additionally, Discovery’s nationwide focus on raising awareness of career opportunities in the skilled trades includes industries such as aviation, manufacturing, healthcare, energy, technology and construction. In each of these trades and industries there exists a skills gap. To help bridge the gap, ‘Discover Your Skills’ Public Service Announcements (PSAs) features some of the network’s stars like Mike Rowe from Discovery Channel’s show Dirty Jobs, Buddy Valastro from TLC’s Cake Boss and Jeannette Torres from Discovery Familia, who filmed PSAs in Spanish and English.
Discovery uses the real-world experience and expertise of their on-air personalities and employees to help address the growing gap between the needs of employers and the skills of America’s workforce.
The Discover Your Skills PSAs make use of Discovery Communications’ ability to reach millions of American households. Discover Your Skills employs credible and respected on-air talent, many of whom are not only television personalities, but also successful professionals working in critical areas of the economy. These high-profile television hosts deliver the message that good jobs are available for workers with the right skills. In addition to the online resource and national media campaign, Discovery supports workforce development at the local level through its partnerships with Montgomery College in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Miami Dade College in Miami, Florida. The partnerships, both similar in structure, consist of three core elements – career panels, “HR on Loan” and an internship program:
- Career Exploration Panels - Discovery executives and employees share their insights and experiences in the workforce and provide students with information to help guide their career path. Career panels cover a broad range of professions in the media sector, featuring Discovery executives in the areas of programming, marketing, digital, IT and communications. In the case of the Miami Dade College career panel discussion the event was streamed live to include Miami-Dade County Public School students as well
- “HR on Loan” - Community college students are given one-on-one support and feedback from Discovery employees in the areas of interviewing, resume building, networking and other career skills
- Internship Program at Discovery – Montgomery College students were offered media technology internships and full-time employment as a result of the internship. The Miami Dade College program, launched in early February, will also offer media technology internships in the Discovery Miami office. Students who are interested in returning to their native country may have an opportunity to work in Discovery’s Latin American office after graduation. Additionally, high school students from Miami-Dade County Public students will learn about possible opportunities at Discovery during a half-day session on internships
By aligning with a major local employer, Montgomery College is afforded the opportunity to provide students with knowledge and skills from a high-impact, education-focused company.
Discovery benefits from this partnership by strengthening its commitment to be a responsible corporate citizen by ensuring that the communities in which it works thrive.
The Discover Your Skills initiative has raised awareness about the skills needed to fill available jobs. Since its launch, DiscoverYourSkills.com has reached a wide audience with over 150,000 page views and PSAs airing in approximately 100 million U.S. homes. Additionally, Discovery has received positive feedback about the effectiveness of their training sessions and internships.
Montgomery College students started participating in the new partnership in February 2012 and Miami Dade began a year later in February 2013. Discovery anticipates reaching a substantial portion of Montgomery College and Miami Dade population through live sessions, streamed events and the online archives.
“At Montgomery College, we recognize that higher education benefits both the individual and the broader community, and we are working to increase degree completion by nearly two-thirds by 2025. With support from Discovery and other business partners, our graduates will contribute to the future economic growth of Montgomery County and the state of Maryland.”
Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard, president of Montgomery College.
Skills for America's Future (SAF) is a non-partisan, employer-led initiative of the Aspen Institute. It is focused on creating a national network of partnerships among employers, community colleges, industry associations and other stakeholders. These partnerships are designed to ensure that American workers receive the necessary training to meet the skill needs of employers, giving them the opporunity to obtain and keep good jobs.
For more information about how your company can partner with community colleges and Skills for America's Future, contact Rene Bryce-Laporte at email@example.com