In 2008-2009, a large defense supplier purchased an international communications company. As a result, the contract labor requirements were altered. New specifications for hiring assembly operators or associates included a GED requirement. Those most affected were a group of assembly workers comprised of all women. Because each woman did not have a high school education, they all faced losing their position in the company.
The defense supplier recognized the value, time and talent that the women contributed to the organization and they, along with CPI were intent on launching a philanthropic and strategic plan to ensure their employability. At the time, all the women were contractors for CPI.
Taking the long view, the defense supplier and CPI acknowledged that all the women were a great resource to the company with the maturity and necessary skill sets to be vital assets. By providing them with the tools and time to complete their high school educations, they would be positioned to acquire additional employment opportunities in and outside of the company.
Part of CPI’s mission is to look for ways to provide greater opportunities to those we serve. We embody a cultural disposition, by which we wish support those that want to better their lives. By doing so, we seek to encourage our employees to pursue their educational ambitions. Additionally, and in congruence with our values, we also work to create a more diverse, flexible and educated work force for our clients.
CPI was privileged to help support the defense supplier’s initiative to educate their workforce. During the project, CPI created an outreach program, which allowed the women to earn their GED and retain their positions. Without such a clause in CPI’s hiring contract, the assembly operators would not only lose their jobs, but they would also be ineligible for future opportunities.
CPI’s role was to conduct research on which GED programs and/or providers were most advantageous to both the client and the women. CPI was also tasked with ensuring that the associates were able to maintain a flexible academic schedule, so they could execute their employment responsibilities. In addition, CPI was responsible for tracking the progress of each associate.
Ultimately, the group was required to go to school 20 hours a week and complete all home work assignments, while maintaining their responsibilities at work.
A majority of the women went on to complete their GED’s. As the program progressed, CPI was also able to identify that two of the associates were mother and daughter. Both women completed their high school certification at the same time and went on to work in the company. All employees who completed their GED’s became eligible for additional opportunities inside the organization.