40 Universities Form ‘BridgesAlliance’ to Address Workforce Barriers
Powered by PeopleGrove, BridgesAlliance pledges to provide students with experiential learning opportunities sourced from alumni communities
SAN FRANCISCO (July 15, 2020) — The threats facing higher education and the economy have accelerated amid a global pandemic and have made future paths for students and recent alumni unclear. In an effort to unite institutions and their communities, PeopleGrove introduces the BridgesAlliance, a growing network of 40 universities worldwide that have pledged to connect students to meaningful experiential learning, and open doors to non-traditional career opportunities.
In a pilot program this summer with Wellesley College, the founding member of BridgesAlliance, more than 300 students have been hired through the college’s network.
“We approached PeopleGrove to help us serve current students and class of 2020 graduates facing a challenging job and internship market. Our goal was to fill this gap through skill-building and networking experiences that were short-term and virtual in nature,” said Jen Pollard, Director of Operations and Analytics for Career Education at Wellesley College. “Bridges has helped us celebrate what makes our community diverse and unique, promote a deeper level of connection, and reach record engagement in experiential learning. We’ve increased accessibility to opportunities for all students in a way that is meaningful and lasting.”
Members of the BridgesAlliance include Wellesley College, Johns Hopkins University, Georgia State University, University of Miami, Drew University. A full list of members appears below. These institutions will leverage their networks, including alumni, families, supporters and corporate partners, to provide students with real-world career experiences in respective fields.
“Our university stands behind the values of diversity and inclusion, and joining the BridgesAlliance will support us in achieving a new vision of equitable access to immersive experiences and mentoring for all students – regardless of background or social capital,” said Farouk Dey, Vice Provost for Integrative Learning and Life at Johns Hopkins University. “Joining this alliance enables us to partner with a network of peers in higher education to empower all students to design their most audacious futures.”
Like-minded universities are encouraged to join the BridgesAlliance and pledge their commitment to connecting students and alumni with mutually beneficial experiential learning engagements.
Rising seniors and recent graduates face a challenging job market
“Hiring freezes and the withdrawal of jobs and internships are just a couple of challenges today’s students and recent graduates are facing – we must tap into the wealth of knowledge and innovation that exists in higher education,” said Adam Saven, co-founder and CEO at PeopleGrove. “Universities from across the country have banded together to form BridgesAlliance, and will work to identify new ways to get graduates into the workforce at a time when their skills are needed most.”
PeopleGrove helps higher education institutions bring personalized, connection-focused communities to students and alumni. PeopleGrove’s Bridges online platform empowers students and universities to tap into their network of alumni, parents and friends for short-term project-based work. BridgesAlliance magnifies the power of Bridges, providing access to real-world work experience shared across PeopleGrove’s network of innovative institutions.
“By engaging our rich and diverse network of alumni, we can connect students to meaningful opportunities that will help them build the skills they need to be successful in the workforce of today and tomorrow,” said Christian Garcia, Associate Dean and Executive Director, Toppel Career Center at the University of Miami. “We’re thrilled to be a part of the BridgesAlliance, and eager to address the pervasive barriers to entering the workforce that today’s graduates are facing, particularly those from marginalized communities.”
To learn more about BridgesAlliance, please visit www.bridgesalliance.org.
Boise State University
Brigham Young University
Georgia State University
Johns Hopkins University
Loyola Marymount University
Loyola University Maryland
San Francisco State University
San Jose State University
The University of Texas at San Antonio
Tulane University of Louisiana
University of Alabama
University of California-Berkeley
University of California-Irvine
University of Delaware
University of Kansas
University of Miami
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
University of New Hampshire
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
University of Notre Dame
University of Pittsburgh
University of Southern California
University of Virginia
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
PeopleGrove connects every student and all alumni with the network and resources they need to realize their full potential before, during, and after their time in college. Founded in 2015, PeopleGrove works with over 250 institutions worldwide, including Stanford University, the University of Michigan, Wellesley College and University of Maryland Global Campus. Headquartered in San Francisco, PeopleGrove is backed by Reach Capital, and other leading capital partners. To learn more about how PeopleGrove is working to ensure all students and professionals have access to the community and connections needed to succeed, visit peoplegrove.com.
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