United Technologies tells employee stories to celebrate scholarship anniversary

The #DegreesofInnovation digital campaign features more than a dozen staffers' stories to celebrate the Employee Scholar Program's 20th anniversary.

Otis employee Courtney Dornell is one United Technologies employee featured in the campaign. (Screenshot via YouTube).
Otis employee Courtney Dornell is one United Technologies employee featured in the campaign. (Screenshot via YouTube).

HARTFORD, CT: United Technologies rolled out a digital campaign this week to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its tuition-assistance push, called the Employee Scholar Program.

The company rolled out the #DegreesofInnovation campaign across its social channels and website featuring the program’s alumni and including a video of CEO Gregory Hayes, who was also elected chairman last week.

More than a dozen employee stories will be featured, said Maureen Fitzgerald, senior director of global social media and an alum of the program.

"Looking at how we tell this story, it seemed a natural fit to launch on social media in a more integrated way with human resources and marketing, including people across the company," she explained.

United Technologies’ human resources department identified program alumni with stories it wanted to share, and Fitzgerald said marketing developed visual elements tailored to social media, where short-form video reigns supreme. Planning for the campaign began last year, she added.

FleishmanHillard subsidiary GMMB supported United Technologies on design and execution, serving as the lead on the project, according to an agency spokesperson. The firm is also working on former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s campaign for president, and it supported President Barack Obama’s two runs.

The Employee Scholar Program foots its recipients’ tuition and learning material bill and provides up to three weekly hours of paid time off for studying.

Fitzgerald participated in the program and received her master’s degree in communications and PR from George Washington University after working in TV news for more than a decade.

The degree does not have to be related to a recipient’s job, but Fitzgerald said most participants tend to attain degrees in their field, with engineers making up most of the program’s alumni.

The push features employees such as Julie Arthur, an Alaska National Guard veteran who joined Pratt & Whitney, a United Technologies’ subsidiary, in 2008 and earned a master’s in management from Wayland Baptist University.

United Technologies said it has invested $1.2 billion into the global program, resulting in 38,000 degrees earned at approved educational institutions in more than 60 countries.

The company beat analysts’ estimates with its second-quarter earnings report, in which it disclosed that revenue was up 1% to $14.9 billion in the period with net income down 3% to $1.4 billion.

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