CMT Empowering Education was launched in 2012 as part of Viacom’s overarching Get Schooled campaign to encourage CMT viewers, no matter what their age, to pursue a postsecondary degree and acquire the skills they need to be successful in today’s changing economy.
The centerpiece of CMT Empowering Education is cmtempoweringeducation.com, a website that provides inspiration along with valuable information. Engaging and easy to navigate, the site is divided into three sections. The first, “Get Inspired,” presents stories from CMT viewers who overcame adversity to further their education. The second section, “Remove Roadblocks,” helps individuals overcome obstacles by confronting dozens of reasons why people think they can’t go to school. The final section, “Create a Plan,” is a personal guide that helps viewers identify their interests, choose a school, arrange to pay for it and balance their lives.
“Create a Plan is custom-made for the 21st century,” said Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor. “It used to be that people who didn’t go to college directly from high school never went. In today’s economy, though, postsecondary education is almost a must, and the Empowering Education website gives people the help they need to go back to school to get the good jobs they want.”
CMT Empowering Education was created with the advice of some of America’s most prominent education organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Achieving the Dream, the Center for Workforce and Economic Development at the American Association of Community Colleges, and the Aspen Institute’s Skills for America’s Future. It has since attracted other advising partners, including the Employment and Training Administration at the Department of Labor.
CMT believes that certification or a degree from a postsecondary school is critical these days, especially as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that millions of jobs remain open due to the lack of skilled applicants. CMT Empowering Education is one way to fill this skills gap and help viewers achieve their dreams.
“We were drawn to Empowering Education because it reaches a unique audience through CMT, including many people our program and others like it may not be reaching. What also differentiates it is that it’s multigenerational. Its initial approach can be through a parent, who then inspires her children to continue their education. It really has the potential to be a catalyst for education across age groups.”
Jane Oates, Assistant Secretary for Employment and Training, U.S. Department of Labor