National ad campaign promotes various career pathways

One of the "Find Something New" ads developed for the new national ad campaign. (Image: Ad Council)

A new national ad campaign backed by the White House and some of the largest U.S. corporations aims to raise awareness about good-paying careers that don’t require a four-year degree.

The campaign, called “Find Something New,” was developed by the Ad Council for the White House’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board (AWPAB), which comprises leaders from government, education, industry and labor. Community college representatives on the board include: Walter Bumphus, president and CEO of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC); Sheree Utash, president of WSU Tech in Wichita, Kansas, and an AACC board member; and Jay Box, president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System. The three organizations are among the campaign’s supporting partners.

The board has been meeting periodically over the past year to develop strategies to help Americans gain skills needed for available career and technical jobs. It began discussing the campaign last fall and planned to roll it out in March, but the blue-ribbon panel held off as the coronavirus took hold. A working group of the board retooled the campaign amid the nearly 18 million Americans out of work due to the pandemic. At its meeting last month, the board previewed the campaign.

The campaign, which was unveiled Tuesday, includes a 30-second clip featuring real individuals who found new careers through new ways of learning, various print and digital ads, and a companion website that includes links to education and training options.

“Many workforce and technology disruptions that were already underway were dramatically accelerated by the COVID19 pandemic,” said Tom Donohue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a member of the advisory board. “We need to redouble our efforts to train or retrain the millions of workers whose jobs went away and won’t come back soon, or ever. The pandemic has underscored the need to recognize that a four-year college degree isn’t the only pathway to a good job.”

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About the Author

Matthew Dembicki
is editor of Community College Daily and serves as publications director for the American Association of Community Colleges.