Citi Partnership Wins National Bellwether Award for Workforce Development | GCTC

Citi Partnership Wins National Bellwether Award for Workforce Development

A 10-year partnership between Gateway Community & Technical College and the Florence, Ky., site of financial services company Citi has received the prestigious national Bellwether Award for Workforce Development from the Community College Futures Assembly and the University of Florida.

The Gateway-Citi partnership was one of 10 national finalists for the award, which recognizes public and/or private strategic alliances and partnerships that promote community and economic development.

In more than 1,200 national community colleges, this is one of the highest honors an institute can receive, said Dale F. Campbell, professor and director of the Community College Futures Assembly and Institute of Higher Education. The awards are similar to being selected by your peers, comparable to the Oscar or Emmy award. Leaders from the winning institution are often recruited by other colleges to replicate the award-winning program.

The Gateway-Citi partnership emphasizes career development and provides resources to enable Citi employees to begin or complete college credentials. Nearly 2,900 Citi employees have been served by the partnership, and Citi has replicated parts of it at three other sites across the country. In addition, Gateway has replicated various components in numerous companies in the Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky region.

In today's dynamic environment, less robust partnerships can fall to the wayside as business, academics, and the world change. It is an amazing achievement for this partnership to thrive for over 10 years, said Gregg Morton, a managing director at Citi. Because the foundation was built on improving the lives of others, that principle drives the partnerships sustained success.

The collaboration began with planning sessions in 2002-2003 and now offers multiple onsite components that include the Gateway Academic Center, academic advising, Career Discovery classes involving employee-designed career pathway maps and academic goals, and credit classes leading to certificates and degrees, said Dr. Ed Hughes, Gateway president/CEO.

The partnership enables Citi employees to start their journey to a college credential on Citis Florence office campus. Gateway provides academic advising on-site 20 hours a week and offers an Operations Management Certificate and Client Excellence Certificate. Since services began in 2003, nearly 950 Citi employees have participated in the Career Discovery class, and 331 of those have achieved at least one grade level promotion.

Many people are responsible for the success of the strategic partnership, including Dr. Angie Taylor, Gateway vice president of Workforce Solutions and Innovations, and the entire Workforce Solutions staff; Heather Morgan, the Gateway on-site advisor at Citi; and Christi Dover, the Gateway project manager during much of the period, Hughes said. Our partners at Citi, including Teresa Wauligman, Julanne Yauch, Gregg Morton, and many others have made this initiative a part of the company's culture at Florence.

The Citi partnership was one of our earliest endeavors in workforce development, and we are grateful for the confidence and support Citi has shown us over the years in administering the program, said Taylor.

The award was presented at the Community College Futures Assembly Jan. 28 in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.