Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup announced Thursday it will offer a program to allow more than 30,000 of its associates to attain their high school equivalency diploma at no cost to them.
The company said it will offer GED preparation courses, practice tests and coaching support to eligible associates, which include those who are actively on an assignment or working in a position for a Manpower client. The company has more than 600,000 associates globally.
ManpowerGroup is partnering with education publishing and assessment company Pearson on the program.
At a time of accelerated hiring among employers, many prospective workers aren’t able to access jobs without a high school diploma, with more than 70% of jobs requiring a high school diploma or higher, Manpower said.
"Employers cannot find skilled workers across all sectors of the U.S. economy, from transport and trade to manufacturing and sales, and the problem won't fix itself," said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. "We know the biggest obstacle to learning is time and this program offers our associates the ability to earn while they learn. That's why we're excited about our partnership with Pearson, providing people with access to jobs and education.”
Each program participant will be matched with a coach and will be provided Pearson online study materials. The GED tests include a group of four subject assessments which provide certification of achievement of high school-level academic skills.
"We know that the future of work will require employers to move beyond the college degree as the signal of employability and, the reality is that a significant percentage of today's workforce need access to relevant, cost-effective education opportunities to make progress in their lives," said James Reeve, managing director of Pearson Accelerated Pathways. "ManpowerGroup is one company consciously addressing the barriers to education attainment, so individuals can have meaningful job opportunities and brighter futures."
The program is an expansion of Manpower's MyPath program, which launched in 2016 as a full college tuition coverage program for its associates through Western International University.