ed2go and Smart Horizons Career Online Education (SHCOE) today announced a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) “Commitment to Action” to re-engage youth and young adults back into the educational system. Through a two-year commitment, ed2go and SHCOE will partner with companies in the retail and hospitality industries to provide employees with an accredited high school education via the Career Online High School. Through this first of its kind partnership and scholarship program, youth and young adults seeking to complete their education for further advancement in the workforce will have the opportunity to earn not just a high school diploma but also an advanced degree career certificate.

Launched in 2005 by former President Bill Clinton, CGI has established a growing network of global leaders dedicated to creating and implementing innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.

“CGI is the perfect platform to help evolve the public discussion on how to support youth and young adults who are gated in their career pursuits because they lack high school diplomas and advanced degrees. At a time when millions of jobs are going unfilled because employers can’t find people with the right skills, we believe this innovative program can make a huge and lasting impact by not just offering the opportunity of a GED, but a fully accredited high school diploma and a career certificate,” said Ron Stefanski, Chief Business Development Officer at ed2go.

ed2go and SHCOE partnered in 2012 in an effort to provide affordable, career-based online education opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. Their partnership led to the establishment of Career Online High School, which offers students the opportunity to earn an accredited 18-credit high school diploma and credentialed career certificate in a single comprehensive online program. Career Online High School served over 2,500 students in its first year of operation.

“As part of our Commitment to Action, we have recently launched two new credentialed career certificate options for Career Online High School students—Retail Customer Service Skills and Food & Customer Service Skills. As we partner with major corporations, we have also developed a scholarship matching program,” explained Dr. Howard Liebman, SHCOE’s CEO and Superintendent of Schools. “Our initial goal is to enroll 200 to 400 new students who will be personally and professionally enriched by earning their high school diplomas and acquiring the real-world skills that lie at the heart of our new career-based certificates to support the retail and hospitality industries.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the excitement and enthusiasm among corporate partners in supporting our Commitment to Action with these two new certificate tracks,” said Ron Stefanski. “Clearly, socially responsible corporations are ready to take the lead in their efforts to solve the challenges of ‘strengthening the retail workforce,’ and ‘collaborating across the service sector.’ Our relationship with an organization of CGI’s stature provides an unprecedented opportunity to move this work forward.”

Under the CGI Commitment to Action, the Career Online High School program will offer high school diplomas with “career certificates” in retail, hospitality and food service, and other key sectors commonly employing high school dropouts through scholarships with employers. ed2go and SHCOE will train participating employers on program operations and provide them with marketing support, student access to the online learning environment, and continuous reporting. Upon enrollment, students will be assigned an academic coach who will communicate with them proactively to maintain their active participation and engagement.

For more information on Career Online High School, please visit: www.careeronlinehs.org

For more information or to read the CGI Commitment to Action, please visit:http://www.clintonglobalinitiative.org/commitments/commitments_search.asp?id=830506