This week, four members of Education at Work’s business development and marketing team had an exciting opportunity to attend and present at the 2016 U.S. Conference of Mayors in Indianapolis, IN.  The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

While attending the event two of our team members had the chance to hear the panel hosted by the Mayor of South Bend, Pete Buttigieg, titled MetroLab Network: The City-University Partnership for Sustainable Cities.  We were impressed with the work both the city and the team from the University of Notre Dame are doing to improve conditions in South Bend.  We were especially impressed with the mayor’s incorporation of a student and former student in the speech, providing them the opportunity to speak to their passion and gain learning experience by presenting to an esteemed audience.  This kind of opportunity is an important part of the Education at Work experience for our student employees and one we believe sets them up for future success when entering into their post-graduation jobs.

Tanya Gantzer presenting at the USCM

Tanya Gantzer presenting at the US Conference of Mayors.

In addition, at this year’s event, Education at Work had the opportunity to present during two key sessions: the Educational Excellence Task Force and Jobs and the Education and Workforce Standing Committee. It was our opportunity to highlight how the three-way partnership we bring together, marrying a university campus with a client partner, helps students fill a tuition expense gap while learning job skills they can leverage post-graduation.  Mayors learned how a partnership like this on a campus in their city can employ 400 students and bring $4.1M in wages and tuition assistance annually.  It was a well-received message with a number of one-to-one conversations following the session.

The Conference was chock-full of ways to improve the lives of citizens with many sessions focused on job creation, education, housing, and safety.  Solving the education gap in the U.S. is a behemoth cradle to graduation undertaking, especially in underserved populations.  Education at Work is just one solution with the opportunity to impact thousands of college students across the United States.  Through the three-way partnership of Education at Work, a university and a client, we envision by 2025 we will support over 100,000 students and reduce $1.3 billion dollars of student debt annually.  Today at our three campus locations students are learning valuable job skills such as communication, problem solving, and collaboration while earning a wage, plus up to $6,000 in tax-free tuition assistance every year.

We believe as mayors review our solution we will have an opportunity to bring more partnerships together that help students fund college education and be more prepared post-graduation with job skills employers are seeking.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.