Achieving the Dream and Cable Network CMT Announce Effort to Strengthen Rural Workforce

Achieving the Dream named as new partner in CMT Empowering Education’s Clinton Global Initiative-America Commitment to Action


Baltimore, MD (February 17, 2015) – Achieving the Dream and cable channel CMT unveiled a new national partnership to support education and workforce development efforts, it was announced today at the opening plenary session of DREAM 2015 – Achieving the Dream’s Annual Institute on Student Success. The partnership is an extension of CMT’s national campaign to support community colleges in rural America, CMT Empowering Education.

Achieving the Dream joins CMT and pilot partner, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC), in a Commitment to Action (CTA) made at the 2014 Clinton Global Initiative-America. This Commitment aims to strengthen America’s rural workforce in some of the most economically-depressed areas by increasing the number of residents with postsecondary degrees and credentials. Achieving the Dream joins CMT in an effort to support community colleges in their local mobilization efforts, using their extensive network of partner colleges.

“As income inequality in the United States continues to grow, community colleges remain one of the few accessible avenues of social mobility,” said Dr. William E. Trueheart, President and CEO of Achieving the Dream. “The community colleges, workers, and families located in rural America, where employment grew just 1.1 percent between 2010 and 2014, especially deserve our attention. Bringing more students into community college, even those who never imagined themselves pursuing higher education, is vital to promoting vibrant communities and a strong economy.”

Trueheart also noted that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s 2014 edition of Rural America at a Glance found that rural areas had a significantly larger proportion of working-age adults with a high school diploma but no further education.

“Our partnership with Achieving the Dream is a natural extension of our efforts to connect CMT viewers and students in rural areas to the incredible resources and opportunities that community colleges provide,” said Lucia Folk, Vice President of Public Affairs, CMT. “We have seen firsthand the power community colleges have to bridge the skills gap, train people for high-wage careers and ensure a better future for themselves and their families. CMT is excited to tap into Achieving the Dream’s strong relationships at the grassroots level and know that, with their expertise, we’ll be even more successful in creating opportunities for people to change their lives and for rural communities to attract new employers.”

Achieving the Dream will provide guidance and insight to CMT as it invites additional community colleges into the second and third cohorts of the CMT CTA.

In conjunction with this announcement, CMT is featuring two CTA pilot colleges that are also Achieving the Dream Institutions – Community College of Beaver County (CCBC) and Greenville Technical College (GTC) – at the opening night plenary of DREAM 2015. CMT will share inspirational success stories from students at these institutions and lead a panel discussion to learn more about their educational journeys.

Panelists will include CCBC graduate Jeff Mannion, who completed the school’s welding program and is now an employed certified pipe welder; CCBC student Joshua Mabin, who intends to earn an associate’s degree and transfer into a university program to study communications; GTC student Christy Martinson, a mother who enrolled at GTC at the urging of her daughter and plans to attend Furman University; and GTC student Harold Callum, who earned an associate degree in Human Services and is now pursuing a second degree in the University Transfer program.

CMT also will lead a Pre-Institute Workshop on Tuesday, February 17 to explain how Achieving the Dream Institutions can join CMT’s CTA. CMT will incorporate lessons learned from DREAM 2015 in their 2015 CGI America CTA progress report.

Media Contacts:

Lynn Reddy, Achieving the Dream, (240) 450-3830,

Amanda Murphy, CMT, (615) 335-8408,

Achieving the Dream (ATD) leads a growing network of more than 277 community colleges committed to helping their students, particularly low-income students and students of color, achieve their goals for academic success, personal growth, and economic opportunity. ATD is making progress in closing equity gaps and accelerating student success through a unique change process that builds each college’s institutional capacities in seven essential areas. ATD, along with nearly 75 experienced coaches and advisors, works closely with Network colleges in 44 states and the District of Columbia to reach more than 4 million community college students. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

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