This week’s White House Upskill Initiative anniversary announcement reports on the significant impact being made in support of the President’s challenge to equip today’s employees with skills for advancement.  One year into its expanded commitment to support front-line workers, more than 5,000 McDonald’s and Walmart employees have participated in at least one Cengage Learning online workforce course.

Cengage Learning’s Career Online High School (COHS) is the first fully accredited U.S. online training provider that issues high school diplomas and entry-level workforce certificates to qualified graduates. McDonald’s is making the program available to all eligible employees in both company-owned and franchise stores. Walmart employees are eligible to participate their first day of work.

“We continue to see the tremendous impact we can have on lives when we work with leading partners like McDonald’s and Walmart to provide their employees with opportunities to reengage in education,” said Dawn Gerrain, Vice President and General Manager, Skills & Global Product Management, Cengage Learning. “Innovative education and training continues to make a profound difference in advancing the President’s Upskill America challenge and we look forward to growing our program further to continue to help Americans obtain the skills and credentials to advance to higher paying jobs.”

As noted from the White House, “Over the past year, collaboration between government, private companies, and philanthropic organizations has led to significant progress.” Approximately 150 companies representing over five million employees have answered the President’s call to action and made commitments to upskill their frontline workers. Upskill employers and organizations have reported that over 12,500 individuals have earned credentials in the past year, and according to the Aspen Institute, companies report over 200,000 workers trained.

COHS was developed in 2012 through a partnership by Cengage Learning and Smart Horizons Career Online Education in an effort to provide affordable and accredited, career-based opportunities for the millions of adults in the United States without high school diplomas. COHS serves a number of leading organizations with opportunities for employees and communities including corporations, non-profits and public library systems. To learn more about the COHS program and partnership opportunities, please visit