2U, Inc. Partners With Employ Prince George’s and the George Washington University College of Professional Studies to Launch the Access 2 Education Scholarship Fund

2U, Inc. (Nasdaq: TWOU), a Lanham-based global education technology company, has partnered with Employ Prince George’s (EPG), the principal workforce development entity for Prince George’s County, to launch the Access 2 Education Scholarship Fund. This fund is designed to help build the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region’s pipeline of technical talent and provide access to high-quality training programs for local residents with a particular focus on serving the Black and Latinx communities as well as women and individuals from low-income households.

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“Today is a major milestone for Prince George’s County and Employ Prince George’s as we partner with 2U and the George Washington University College of Professional Studies to launch the Access 2 Education Scholarship Fund in order to expand access and build the region’s talent pipeline,” said Walter Simmons, President and CEO of Employ Prince George’s. “Through our partnership with 2U and GW, County residents will be better equipped for in-demand careers in industries where they have been underrepresented for far too long. We are proud to serve our residents by ensuring they have career pathways that lead to success and to employment that will pay a livable wage. We want to prepare people for jobs that can help them purchase a home, and this is an example of that.”

The fund will provide County residents with scholarships to enroll in career-accelerating online boot camps in Coding, Data Analytics, UX/UI, Digital Marketing, and Cybersecurity through a partnership with 2U and the George Washington University College of Professional Studies. Adult learners admitted into the program will receive a 65 percent tuition reduction, bringing the cost of the program down to $3,500. A 24-month, interest-free financing option will also be available. Prince George’s County residents can apply for the scholarship through EPG beginning today through Dec. 31, 2020 for courses beginning in January and February 2021. The scholarship will serve between 20 and 30 students to start.

“We are proud to call Prince George’s County home, and our new Access 2 Education Scholarship and partnership with Employ Prince George’s and the George Washington University College of Professional Studies is a great opportunity for 2U to give back to our local community through what we do best—delivering high-quality online higher education,” said David Sutphen, 2U’s Chief Strategy and Engagement Officer. “By creating affordable and accessible career pathways for Prince George’s County residents who have been historically underrepresented in technology-related jobs, this new public-private partnership will help meet one of the County’s most critical needs.”

A significant issue facing Prince George’s County, the Washington D.C. metropolitan region, and the rest of the country is the persistent tech talent gap, which has only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. With the digital transformation of all industries accelerating, businesses need professionals who are trained in new technologies to execute on their business plans. In partnership with 2U and the George Washington University College of Professional Studies, EPG will tackle these gaps head on by creating access to tech training programs that will prepare residents for in-demand jobs.

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“Demand for tech talent in the DMV—and nationwide—will continue far into the future, and our job at GW is to meet that challenge head on by delivering market-driven, relevant, and accessible learning opportunities to students and working professionals in our community,” said Melissa Feuer, Acting Dean of the George Washington University College of Professional Studies. “The Access 2 Education Scholarship is a great example of how companies, universities, and workforce development agencies can come together to build and diversify local talent pipelines.”

Today’s announcement builds on 2U’s current boot camp scholarships aimed at creating a more diverse tech workforce. 2U-powered online boot camps educate working adults across a wide range of backgrounds and experience levels and have a strong track record of meeting the needs of local employers. More than 25,000 participants have graduated from these programs and thousands of organizations employ them, including 50 percent of Fortune 100 companies. In 2019 alone, 2U’s Career Services team—which prepares boot camp graduates to be employer-competitive—made 7,000 referrals to employers. 2U’s boot camp programs are considered top hiring sources among 2U’s network of over 200 employers, including many in Prince George’s County.

“When workforce development leaders, universities, businesses, and communities work together, a great deal can be accomplished,” said Simmons. “This scholarship is an example of how public-private partnerships can increase access to quality educational opportunities for disadvantaged populations, while ultimately meeting the needs of local businesses.”

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