Metropolitan College was founded as a joint education-workforce-economic development initiative among the University of Louisville (UofL), Jefferson Community & Technical College (JCTC), Louisville Metro and State of Kentucky governments, and charter employer UPS. Metropolitan College was a critical element of the incentive package that convinced UPS to remain in Kentucky and to expand its major overnight air hub, Worldport. This uniquely innovative education program offers access to post-secondary education opportunities for eligible employees in the Next Day Air operation at UPS Worldport. Acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Labor for best practices in innovative solutions to workforce development, Metropolitan College and UPS offer a well-documented solution for the elimination of the financial barriers to higher education for residents of Kentucky and a proven model for workforce retention. Since its inception in 1998, this innovative partnership has helped more than 14,000 students pursue free post-secondary education and on-the-job training while reducing workforce turnover rate from over 70% to less than 20%. More than 5,100 individuals have earned over 8,300 certificates, associate, bachelor and graduate degrees.
Participants in the Metropolitan College/UPS program work part-time at UPS in the Next Day Air operation, receiving wages and full benefits. Participants may attend Jefferson Community & Technical College or the University of Louisville (specific admission criteria must be met for UofL) where they are eligible for full undergraduate Kentucky resident tuition for coursework passed with a “C” or better. In addition, MC/UPS participants are eligible for book reimbursement of up to $65 per class and academic completion bonuses. To fulfill the program’s mission of assisting students to integrate their academic, work and personal lives, Metropolitan College has a team of Student Development Counselors who assist students with a wide array of support services designed to enhance student success in the workplace, in the classroom, and in their future careers.
Developing a responsive and educated workforce for the region and state has always been a key component of the Metropolitan College model. Metropolitan College partners with Jefferson Community and Technical College to operate the CREW Career Center. CREW (Connecting Resources, Education and Workforce) provides comprehensive career development services for all Metropolitan College participants and all Jefferson Community and Technical College students.