U.S. Conference of Mayors: Inspired Change At The Local Level

The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) is the official nonpartisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

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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

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.

Education at Work Student Employees Earn More Than $2 Million In Tuition Assistance

EAW has announced that since its founding in 2012, its student employees have earned more than $2 million in TA.

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CINCINNATI, OH – Education at Work (EAW) has announced that since its founding in 2012, its student employees have earned more than $2 million in tax-free tuition assistance. EAW is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping college students graduate with as little debt as possible. The organization provides part-time jobs in a contact center environment that pay hourly wages and provide tax-free tuition assistance based on grade point average. Student employees are eligible to receive up to $6,000 in tax-free tuition assistance per year which goes directly toward their college tuition.

“In October 2015, we announced that our student employees had earned $1 million in tuition assistance since our establishment,” CEO and founder Dave Dougherty remarked. “Today, just eight months later, we have awarded a total of $2 million. This number will continue to accelerate with our students from our newest location, Arizona State University, applying for their first round of tuition in July.”

EAW will continue moving toward its vision to reduce $1.3 billion of student debt annually through employing over 100,000 college students by the year 2025.

About Education at Work

EAW Logo

Education at Work is a non-profit contact center provider helping college students graduate with less debt by partnering with clients to address customer service needs through a high-achieving, collegiate workforce. To learn more about Education at Work, visit its website.


Reinventing Recruiting

LinkedIn’s Global Trends report found that 50% of recruiters expect recruiting to become more like marketing over the next 5 years.

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LinkedIn’s fourth annual Global Trends report found that nearly 50% of recruiters expect recruiting to become more like marketing over the next 5-10 years and 70% of employers are turning to brand development to attract future talent.

Millennial job seekers are on the rise in the American economy and according to a Deloitte 2016 survey, they believe companies should put their employees first and have a solid foundation of trust and integrity. The study suggests that companies failing to place these values at the forefront of their brand identity are at risk of losing traction with millennial job seekers.

When looking for employment, millennials evaluate and consider a company’s brand image as closely as they do the job opportunity.  Given this, it is no surprise that recruiting and marketing departments are collaborating to strengthen their brand identities in hopes of attracting strong millennial hires.

There’s a Better Way

Education at Work is building talent pipelines for its clients with college students nearing graduation. They form unique partnerships with universities and business clients which enable college students to work in customer service and entry level professional roles.  Education at Work manages the students in contact centers located on college campuses as well as on the client’s site.  Brand immersion is a critical component for success on the job.

To ensure students will be successful, Education at Work creates a customized campus recruiting plan to successfully hire the best students to fit the hiring criteria. It targets specific degrees, defines the minimum GPA needed, tests for written and oral proficiency and interviews to determine student interest in and affinity for the brand they will represent.

While in the positions, students earn wages and receive up to $6,000 of tax-free tuition assistance annually. Tuition assistance and the opportunity to learn professional skills that can be put to use post-graduation are motivators for students to do their best to support the client. During their time in college, these students become brand evangelists for the companies they are working for and learn how to engage directly with their customers.

Proven Success

This customized recruiting engagement strategy has worked exceptionally well for an Education at Work partner in the financial services industry.

Education at Work began its partnership with this company in September of 2014. Students in the Northern Kentucky and Greater Cincinnati area are recruited by Education at Work’s Educational Outreach team to work in part-time roles on the client site.

Students with matching profiles are put through a three stage interviewing process that begins at Education at Work and ends at the financial services company. Education at Work partnership grows hiring

If selected, they are offered a part-time position in areas such as: data entry/analysis, back office administrative support, IT, customer service or project management.

Elizabeth Woosley, Education at Work’s Manager of Onsite Student Support at the financial services company, said that in some cases, Education at Work students have higher performance metrics than full-time employees working in the same positions. Often, this high productivity is what makes them ideal full-time hires when they graduate. Even if they move to a new department, they have institutional knowledge and experience that other new hires lack.

Since the inception of the program, the client has made full-time job offers to 17 Education at Work student-employees - 75% of those who have graduated from the program.

Former Education at Work student employee
Rafael Torres, Northern Kentucky University Class of 2016

Rafael Torres is one of these graduates. In September of 2015 he interviewed with Education at Work and was offered a part-time job at the financial services company.

Torres is a recent graduate of Northern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Informatics. Rafael learned about a full-time opportunity within the company’s IT department, applied, and was selected for the position. On June 18, 2016, he will be traveling to North Carolina to begin his exciting new job.

Rafael is convinced that the relationships and skills he developed while working part-time at the company led directly to his full-time opportunity.


Dana Spencer is another of the new full-time hires. She began her part-time position at the company in June of 2014 and also recently graduated with a full-time job offer in place.

Dana Spencer Northern Kentucky University class of 2016
Dana Spencer, Northern Kentucky University Class of 2016

Dana is thrilled to join what she calls the “family” she found at the company.

When asked what impact Education at Work had on her success she said, “I never would have pursued education further than my associate degree if I hadn’t found Education at Work. But, I graduated from Northern Kentucky University with a bachelor’s degree, debt free, and with a full-time job because Education at Work provided me the opportunity. I hope to retire with this company.”

Education at Work’s unmatched recruiting strategy fully integrates job candidates into its business partner’s company culture well before they are hired full-time. A Senior Vice President of Global Operations said, “I really believe in the Education at Work program. Not only does it benefit the students, it is a great flexible resource for business and provides a pool of talented hires with direct experience.”

This part-time college student model provides present and future benefits.  Students fill critical business needs for clients while in school and create a future talent pipeline for full-time employment post-graduation. Through a partnership with Education at Work, companies are able to attract quality candidates who have already proven their talent and loyalty to the brand.




About Laura Forero

Xavier University Student

Laura Forero has been the Marketing Intern for Education at Work since August of 2015. She is currently a senior at Xavier University studying Public Relations and Advertising with a minor in Digital Media. She enjoys reading, writing, and following a good PR crisis unfold in modern day media. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Are You Job Ready? Dionne’s Student Voice

With summer here and school out, there are vast number of students – in both high school and college – looking for jobs.

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With summer here and school out, there are vast number of students - in both high school and college – looking for jobs. I got my first job with Education at Work almost straight out of high school in 2014. I’ve had this job going on three years in June. But before getting the job, I remember filling out a great deal of job applications and thinking about what I should write in the “prior work experience” field. The only thing I’d ever done that was close to a job was volunteer work at Good Samaritan Hospital. During my time there, I helped people find their way around the hospital and it felt like a real job to me. I had to clock in and clock out, had to wear a uniform, and I volunteered several hours every week. However, volunteering did not qualify as work experience, so I left that space blank on my job applications. I remember getting two callbacks; one was from Target. They had explained to me that they were not hiring for the position that I had applied for. The lady that I spoke to also informed me that my application would be in the system for another six months. The other callback was for a position where I’d be selling knives and kitchenware. I actually had an interview with them, but I didn’t hear back from them either. After that my friend told me about Education at Work and here I am almost three years later.

I believe employers look for two things: experience and communication skills. The one question that you will be asked continuously is “Do you have any work experience?” It’s frustrating that when you attempt to better yourself by getting a job, you can’t do so without prior work experience.

Communication quote - dionne

This summer my sister, Deneisha was going through that same frustration. Having completed her first year of college, she was finally ready to take another step into adulthood. Deneisha also volunteered with me at the hospital. Deneisha applied for several jobs and every time she saw that “prior work experience” part of the application, it would drive her crazy. “I’m never going to get a job, I don’t have work experience!” she’d say all throughout her job search. Deneisha had an interview at Michaels Craft Store and received a call from the manager with good news that she had gotten the job.


About Dionne Lowe

Student at University of Cincinnati Blue Ash

I’m a 21 year old Psychology major. I go to UC Blue Ash. I love to read, write, Starbucks and planning. After I receive my associates degree, I want to go to UC Main campus and receive my Bachelor's in psychology. I want to become a Forensic Psychologist.