The College of Mount St. Joseph announced today it will be the first Cincinnati campus expansion for Education at Work, a new non-profit company that operates a call center for large businesses and is staffed by local college students. Education at Work opened its first call center in Norwood in mid-August and when capacity is reached, the Mount will open a call center near the campus in Delhi. The SC Ministry Foundation awarded a grant to the Mount to fund a portion of the program’s start-up costs and the initial scholarships for Mount students.
“The Mount’s investment to provide this opportunity is another way we are trying to help our students afford a Mount education and lessen their student debt,” said Tony Aretz, Ph.D., president of the Mount. “The Education at Work concept not only offers employment, but it’s also an incentive for students to maintain a higher grade-point average while earning real-life job skills that employers seek.”
Education at Work is a non-profit company founded by former Convergys president and CEO Dave Dougherty as an opportunity to bring jobs back to the United States that may have been outsourced to other countries, while creating employment for college students who can provide high-quality skills. Employees must be enrolled in at least one college class and can earn up to an additional $6,000 annually toward their college tuition based on GPA and course load. The initial clients include Macy’s and Cincinnati Bell and other large companies are also in the process of becoming a part of the program.
“The cost of a college education prohibits many adults from being able to seek additional education,” said Dougherty. “Education at Work provides companies with highly-trained call center operators by employing college students who learn valuable work foundation skills such as teamwork, communication and critical thinking. It’s the first of its kind concept that companies embrace.”
The initial Education at Work call center in the former Cincinnati Bell building in Norwood currently houses 300 work stations which can accommodate 850 employees. It offers an on-site Starbucks coffee lounge and an area for students to study. Nearby conference rooms may also be used to offer professional development to employees. The Mount has not identified a location for its future call center in Delhi but it will likely be in the business district on Delhi Pike. It is expected to open sometime next year.
“We offer many options to our students to help pay for college,” Aretz said. “In addition to providing significant financial aid, we work with many area companies to provide cooperative education positions and the Mount provides work-study jobs and receives grant funding for our Student Summer Employment Initiative. Another potential benefit of working with Education at Work is the proverbial ‘foot in the door’ for these students to find careers with these companies after they graduate from college. That’s a win-win for everyone.”
The Mount recently created other community partnerships including the development of the Flats Gallery in the Incline District in Price Hill and the Ethical Leadership Development Initiative that brings key leadership experts to the Mount.
See www.education-at-work.org for more information on Education at Work’s program.
The College of Mount St. Joseph is an undergraduate and graduate Catholic college that provides an interdisciplinary liberal arts and professional curriculum emphasizing values, service and social responsibility.