HOUSTON, November 6, 2008 — University of Phoenix, Houston campus, a leader in higher education that offers associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs to working professionals, was recently selected as a winner of the prestigious 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. This is the first year the University has been recognized for its positive working environment, as well as the first year the Houston campus competed among thousands of local and national businesses for the honor.

The Sloan Awards recognizes organizations that are dedicated to making work manageable and successful for both the employer and the employees. Representing employers of all sizes and all types, winners of this prestigious award not only offer excellent workplace practices, but they also use flexibility as a strategic business tool to enhance organizational effectiveness while also benefiting employees. Each of the 2008 Sloan Award winners will also be recognized nationally, including a full-page congratulatory ad in USA Today, and will be featured in the 2009 issue of the Guide to Bold New Ideas for Making Work Work, published by Families and Work Institute.

Christina Robinson Grochett, University of Phoenix – Houston campus director, says the campus continuously strives to create an enjoyable work culture for its employees. Time off for volunteer activities, flexible work schedules, full tuition reimbursement for employees and half reimbursement for their children, and wellness programs contributed to the University's distinguishing attributes.

"We are very pleased to be recognized with such an honor," Grochett said. "The real honor, however, is knowing that our employees are pleased with a well-balanced work environment that addresses both their professional and personal needs. Everyone benefits from this type of environment; our employees, students and the Houston community."

The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility is part of the When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce), and the Twiga Foundation. Applications for the awards were open to all organizations in the greater Houston area with more than 10 employees that had been in business for at least one year. Applicants were evaluated in a rigorous two-step process, first comparing the employer's application to nationally representative data from Families and Work Institute's National Study of Employers, and then corroborating the employer responses through a survey of employees.

"Sloan Award winners have put into practice their bold ideas about how to make the professional environment work in the 21st century, and they have shown how they can support the needs of their employees while also making their organizations more effective and successful," said Ellen Galinsky, president of Families and Work Institute.

The Houston community is one of 30 select communities nationwide chosen to host and participate in the When Work Works initiative. Other communities participating are: Arizona (statewide); Atlanta, GA; Aurora, CO; Birmingham, AL; Boise, ID; Brockton, MA; Charleston, SC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Durham, NC; Lexington, KY; Long Beach, CA; Long Island, NY; Louisville, KY; Melbourne-Palm Bay, FL; Michigan (statewide) Milwaukee, WI; Morris County, NJ; Providence, RI; Richmond, VA; Rochester, MN; Salt Lake City, UT; San Francisco, CA; Savannah, GA; Seattle, WA; Spokane, WA;; Washington, DC; and Winona, MN.

"Employers must develop new recruitment and retention policies. Unprecedented conditions -- a multi-generational workforce, a shrinking labor pool and an increasing demand for skilled workers -- dictate that they do so," said Greg Roth, Senior Manager of Workforce Education Programs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Institute for a Competitive Workforce.


University of Phoenix is constantly innovating to help students balance education and life in a rapidly changing world. Through flexible schedules, challenging courses and interactive learning, students achieve personal and career aspirations without putting their lives on hold. As of August 31, 2008, 362,100 students were enrolled at University of Phoenix, the largest private university in North America. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world.


When Work Works is a nationwide initiative to highlight the importance of workforce effectiveness and workplace flexibility as strategies to enhance businesses' competitive advantage in the global economy and yield positive business results. When Work Works is a project of Families and Work Institute in partnership with the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Twiga Foundation, with funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. For more information, visit www.whenworkworks.org.


Families and Work Institute (FWI) is a nonprofit center for research that conducts extensive research on the changing workforce, changing family and changing community. Founded in 1989, FWI's research typically takes on emerging issues before they crest. The Institute offers some of the most comprehensive research on the U.S. workforce available. For more information, visit www.familiesandwork.org.


Wendy Paul