Viacom’s CMT Creates Online Resource Designed to Help Narrow the Job Skills Gap with Launch of ‘CMT Empowering Education’ Initiative

Education Initiative Kicked Off This Evening in D.C. with a Panel Discussion At NCTA Featuring a Performance from Broken Bow Recording Artist Dustin Lynch
Sep 19, 2012 8:00 PM ET

(3BL Media) Washington, DC - September 19, 2012 – CMT, a unit of Viacom, Inc., has launched a new pro-social education initiative, CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION, it was announced this evening at a CMT-hosted event at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association in Washington, D.C.  The multi-faceted campaign challenges CMT viewers to pursue post-secondary education with the creation of the website, – a one-stop resource providing information on schools, career paths, motivation and financial resources. 

“There are more than 3.7 million job openings in the U.S.* and many of those remain open because applicants don’t have the necessary skills,” said Lucia Folk, Sr. Director of Public Affairs, CMT.  “CMT saw an opportunity to create a campaign for our viewers that could narrow the skills gap and improve their quality of life by providing them with a simple, easy to use resource to help them map out their journey to an education and greater job opportunities.”

Tonight’s launch event in D.C. included a panel discussion about closing the skills gap through innovative partnerships, and featured some of the foremost minds in post-secondary education and workforce development, including Janet Bray, Executive Director for the Association for Career and Technical Education; René Bryce-Laporte, Program Manager for Skills for America’s Future/The Aspen Institute; and Gail Schwartz, Senior VP for Innovative Learning and Student Success at the American Association for Community Colleges.  The panel was moderated by Andrew J. Rotherham, Co-founder and Partner at Bellwether Education and an education columnist for TIME.

Broken Bow #1 recording artist Dustin Lynch, who promised his family he would earn a college degree before pursuing a career in music, shared his story with the group and performed his current hit single, “Cowboys and Angels,” as well as several tracks from his chart-topping debut album.

CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION is founded on the same education research and insights that led to the creation of Get Schooled, a non-profit organization dedicated to using media, technology, and popular culture to improve attendance.  Get Schooled was formed through a partnership between Viacom and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Advising partners for the CMT Empowering Education campaign include Achieving the Dream; Alltuition; Association of Career & Technical Education; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Center for Workforce & Economic Development; American Association of Community Colleges; National Skills Coalition and Skills for America's Future, The Aspen Institute. 

Advising partners, listed above, are organizations that have helped in the creation, development of content and beta testing of the site. These organizations will provide ongoing expertise, research and resources to ensure that CMT EMPOWERING EDUCATION is addressing the most relevant and ever-changing needs in the education and workforce development arena.  

*According to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics – July 2012

CMT, a unit of Viacom Inc. (NASDAQ: VIA, VIAB), is the leading television and digital authority on country music and entertainment, reaching more than 92 million homes in the U.S.  CMT and its website,, offer an unparalleled mix of music, news, live concerts and series and is the top resource for country music on demand.  The network’s digital platforms include the 24-hour music channel, CMT Pure Country, CMT Mobile and CMT VOD.

# # # 

Lisa Chader

Natasha Powell