President Ty Handy of Vermont Tech is pleased to announce that one of the signature business/labor/education partnership programs delivered at the college — The Verizon/CWA/IBEW Next Step Program — won the Stevie Award® for Best Human Resource Team in the 2007 American Business Awards on June 11, 2007.Stevie Awards were presented in over 40 categories including Best Overall Company, Best Executive, and Best Corporate Social Responsibility Program. More than 2,000 entries from companies of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted for consideration.Hailed as “the business world’s own Oscars” (New York Post,April 27, 2005), The American Business Awards are the only national, all-encompassing awards program honoring great performances in business.In winning the Stevie Award®, this education program for line maintenance personnel beat out other finalists including DHL Express and Marriott. Dan Crocitto, Verizon’s Next Step Program Co-Director was presented the Stevie Award®, before a packed ballroom at Marriott Marquis in New York City. In accepting the Stevie Award®, Crocitto said, “The award acknowledges the successes of our educational partnership and the quality of work and creative talent of every individual on our team; a team that has maintained a clear focus on the value of an education and the significant impact it has on the individual students, as well as the program’s partners.”Dr. Joseph N. Joyce Jr., Director the Next Step Program in New England noted, “The selection of Next Step in this competitive process is testimony to the success of this pioneering corporate, union and educational initiative.”Next Step Program:By the mid-1990s the senior leaders of NYNEX (now Verizon) and its two principal employee unions, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), knew they must adapt if the company was to survive and thrive in a business environment of deregulation, global competition, and rapid technological change.The Next Step Program (NSP) became the vehicle for achieving the desired results. The company and the union together turned to partner public institutions, like Vermont Technical College, and others throughout New York and New England for program development and implementation. In total, a coalition of twenty-five colleges teamed to develop, accredit, and deliver a common AAS degree program at twenty-eight locations.Today, the Next Step Program boasts:Over 3,200 graduates, 21,152 applicants since its inception.On average, 7 employees applying for each available seat.Participants who surpass their national counterparts in higher GPA ranges.A participant retention rate of 75%, versus a 48% national rate, and 30% of graduates who continue their formal education.The Program takes participants four years to complete, taking classes one day per week as part of their regular work duty. It is funded entirely by Verizon, and managed by Co-Directors from the company, the Communications Workers of America (CWA), and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW).
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