TN Chamber launches program where employers can help employees further their education
State Chamber partners with GED Works as part of Workforce Development Initiative
- Thanks to a program announced today by the Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Tennessee employers can now make it easier for workers to pursue their education. The new TN Chamber/GED Works™ program aims to create a better-educated and prepared Tennessee workforce as part of the Chamber's Workforce Development Initiative. Data shows that over three hundred thousand Tennesseans are currently employed in the workforce and did not complete their high school education.
Launched nationally last year, GED Works helps adult learners attain their GED® credentials with the support of their employers. Just as importantly, it gives these employees momentum to pursue advanced education and training. The Tennessee Chamber is partnering with GED Testing Services to offer employers access to the program.
The TN Chamber/GED Works program includes everything an employee needs to prepare for and pass the GED. Participants are provided access to all the traditional benefits of the GED program, as well as online study material, connections to local adult education programs, and practice tests. The new program connects each participant with a GED Advisor specially trained to guide, engage, and motivate students - a successful model used by the TN Promise Mentors program at state community colleges.
"An educated workforce is a top priority for the Tennessee Chamber and critical for us to address in order to continue to attract business to Tennessee," said Bradley Jackson, President and CEO of the Tennessee Chamber. "High school credentialing is the most basic building block of a sound education, and that is why we are so excited about bringing GED Works to Tennessee.
"Our members know that having a properly-educated, well-trained workforce is key to their own success, just as it helps us recruit new employers. We are encouraging members to take advantage of TN Chamber/GED Works as part of our goal to help more adults earn high school credentialing."
The Tennessee-tailored initiative represents the first state-level, business-endorsed promotion of the GED Works program, which currently serves some of the nation's largest employers and most recognizable brands - including Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell and Southeastern Grocers.
"Employers are attracted to GED Works because, unlike other employment-related costs, each dollar invested in an employee's education increases the competitiveness and value of their workforce," said Randy Trask, President of GED Testing Service. "Employers embrace GED Works because it enables employees to improve their career prospects, increase their earning potential, and hopefully find inspiration to continue their education and training."
The Tennessee Chamber was particularly attracted by the recent transformation of the GED program establishing a pathway for postsecondary education. The newly-redesigned GED credential now includes a college ready score indicator endorsed by the American Council on Education, which allows colleges to place qualifying students in college-level courses - saving students time and money. In addition, the program provides graduates with resources and motivation to continue their education by connecting them with college and career pathway tools on GED.com, as well as postsecondary programs and scholarships offered by their employers.
Key Facts and Data About GED Works
- Two of the top 10 companies listed on the Forbes Fortune 500 rankings for largest corporations participate in the GED Works program: #1 Walmart and #8 Yum Brands (Taco Bell and KFC).
- Southeastern Grocers has enlisted in the program as well - ranked by Forbes as the 26th largest private employer in the U.S.
- GEDTS expects to announce up to four more major employers by the end of year.
- More than 1,500 employees are currently enrolled in and working at various stages of the program, which typically requires 4-6 months to complete.
- To date, 300 employees have successfully completed the program.
- More than 6,000 employees have indicated interest in the program.
What Are Employers Participating in GED Works Saying?
"Restaurant operators love that the GEDWorks and other Foundation programs help them recruit and retain high-quality employees who are interested in working hard to improve themselves. The KFC Foundation is proud to be able to support them and continue Colonel Sanders' legacy of helping people be their best selves through education."
-- Krista Snider, Managing Director of the KFC Foundation.
About Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Founded in 1912, The Tennessee Chamber of Commerce & Industry is one of Tennessee's oldest and most prominent business trade associations. Also serving as the Tennessee Manufacturers Association, the Tennessee Chamber works with local chambers of commerce across the state to advocate for a pro-business climate.
About GED Testing Service
The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942. The GED test is accepted by virtually all of U.S. colleges and employers. As the creator of the one official GED test, GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma. GED Testing Service is a joint venture between the American Council on Education and Pearson.
About the GED Program
The goal of the new GED program that launched in January 2014 is to prepare adult learners for today's jobs and for entry into career and college training programs. The new GED test has two performance levels - one that is used to certify high school equivalency and another optional level that indicates readiness for college-level coursework