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University of Phoenix employee resource groups (ERGs) celebrate volunteer opportunities during April 

By Michele Mitchum

ERGs lead volunteer activities and bolster employee engagement in a workforce committed to serving diverse student body

University of Phoenix is proud to announce that employee resource groups (ERGs) led the way for University employee volunteer opportunities during the month of April leading up to National Volunteer Week. The University ERGs engage in community building activities, mentoring and networking across departments as well as with external organizations and nonprofits. During April they led an initiative to raise employee awareness about volunteer activity policies that promote employee engagement and volunteer contributions to their communities across the country. Employees recorded a total of 339 hours of volunteer time during April.

“University of Phoenix now operates what is primarily a remote workplace,” states Julie Fink, vice president, Talent Management, and executive sponsor of the ERGs. “Our ERGs are a model of workforce community-building that contribute to employee engagement and measures of employees’ sense of authenticity, inclusion and belonging. Their leadership in promoting volunteer activities is an example of how these groups and the impassioned individuals who lead them help our community thrive.”

To support employees engaging and contributing to their local communities, University of Phoenix offers paid community service time off, up to 16 hours annually.

Senior Academic Advisor for University of Phoenix, Pamela Stewart, embraced the opportunity to give back to her community by donating her time in service of a local nonprofit. “I volunteered with some of my sisters for Feed the City in Dallas, Texas,” she shared. “It was a great experience to come together and help prepare meals for those less fortunate.  We prepared 601 meals in one hour! This will definitely be on my list as one of my continuous volunteering opportunities.”

Led by Unified ERG Ambassadors, during National Volunteer Week April 21-27, each of the five ERGs sponsored a day and made prizes available to participating employees.

University of Phoenix ERGs operate under a Unified ERG model, which means that the ERGs operate independently but have a collective, unified engagement with each other, frequently engaging to collaborate or provide resources for each other. Employees may join one or all five ERGs and currently, over a third of employees are members of at least one ERG. Membership in ERGs is open to any individual and not limited to the constituency the ERG supports. 

Craig Radel, National Account Manager for University of Phoenix, a DEIB Ambassador and member of all the University's ERG groups since 2022, also donated his time this year. “This was the 2nd year in a row I volunteered at Philabundance, a food bank in South Philly that makes a difference,” shared Radel. “For me volunteering is a fantastic way to give back to your community and contribute to positive change. Even the smallest act of kindness can have a ripple effect and make a meaningful impact on the lives of others. It’s all about coming together to create a better world for everyone.”

By unanimous agreement of the Executive team, ERGs were implemented in 2016 to provide safe spaces for employees with diverse experiences to leverage avenues for networking, mentorship, and career opportunities, and have been embraced by employees to enhance their experience at the University.

ERG leaders and members are actively engaged and volunteer to support the Inclusive Leadership Summit, a thought leadership event on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) managed by the OEE, held this year June 11-13.

Reflecting a commitment by University of Phoenix to cultivating a strong sense community among the diverse workforce and equally diverse working adult student body, the University has also established Student Organizations (SOs).

Learn more here about work culture at University of Phoenix.

About University of Phoenix

University of Phoenix innovates to help working adults enhance their careers and develop skills in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant courses, interactive learning, skills-mapped curriculum for our bachelor’s and master’s degree programs and a Career Services for Life® commitment help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. For more information, visit