The following is a company-submitted press release and does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of College Planning & Management magazine.

Partnering to Promote Career Education With California Community Colleges

SACRAMENTO, CA – Ogilvy, one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world, and MeringCarson, a California-based advertising firm, have teamed up on a $6 million public relations and advertising campaign, which publicly launched July 20, to rebrand Career Education in California on behalf of the California Community Colleges.

The campaign, aimed at prospective students, parents, counselors, employers and other stakeholders, promotes the benefits of Career Education as an affordable, accessible pathway to a rewarding career. Key campaign components include paid traditional, social and online advertising; multicultural outreach and events; social media; employer engagement and online videos. Career education programs offer the hands-on, practical training needed to earn a certificate or begin a path towards a bachelor's degree. 

The campaign publicly launched at an event at the State Capitol in Sacramento, which featured leaders from the California Community Colleges, state policymakers, higher education leaders, employers, students and demonstrations of some of the more than 200 career opportunities currently offered across the system's 114 campuses. Programs include:  3D Animation, Advanced Manufacturing, Biotechnology, Culinary Arts, Digital Media, Web Programming and more.

"Career education from the California Community Colleges is an important, yet under-recognized part California's education system," says Ogilvy executive vice president Misha Gutierrez. "With studies indicating that the lack of a skilled workforce could threaten California's growing economy, we are thrilled to be part of the team helping solve a growing problem."  

"We've had the pleasure of working on many meaningful campaigns, including Visit California, promoting tourism into California," says MeringCarson president Lori Bartle. "With its statewide reach and importance to California's workforce and future economic growth, we saw this as a great opportunity, and we're excited to present career education in a new context that's both relevant and appealing."

The Public Policy Institute of California predicts that by 2025, California may face a shortage of workers up to 1.5 million, without enough postsecondary education to meet workforce needs. In addition, research conducted to inform the development of the campaign revealed only 16 percent of current community college students are familiar with career education, while 46 percent have never heard of it. Among prospective students, more than 60 percent do not know about career education.

"The message of this campaign is that these programs lead to good-paying jobs," says Paul Feist, vice chancellor for communications and marketing for the California Community Colleges. "We aim to change perceptions about career education so more students will take advantage of these programs and get connected in a meaningful way to this new economy, which is unforgiving for people without skills and credentials." 

The account will be based in Ogilvy's Sacramento office with support from Ogilvy offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. In addition to MeringCarson, the team includes YI Advisors, T&T Public Relations, Capitol Public Affairs and Kish Rajan Public Affairs.

For more information on the campaign, visit www.californiacareereducation.com.

About Ogilvy
Ogilvy is one of the largest marketing communications companies in the world. The company is comprised of industry leading units in the following disciplines: advertising; public relations and public affairs; branding and identity; shopper and retail marketing; health care communications; direct, digital, promotion and relationship marketing; consulting, research and analytics; branded content and entertainment; and specialist communications. For more information, visit www.ogilvy.com

About MeringCarson
MeringCarson is a fully integrated advertising agency with offices in Sacramento and San Diego offering comprehensive services that include strategic planning & research, creative development & production, media planning & buying as well as design. For more information, visit www.meringcarson.com.

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