Thursday, June 11, 2020

Southwestern Advantage and COVID-19

Information below is also published at southwesternadvantage.com/covid19

Regarding COVID-19, Southwestern Advantage has taken extra steps to protect the safety and well-being of our staff, sales leaders, college and university students who sell Southwestern Global Academy and the families they serve.

Every business in the country is affected in some way, and we are no different. We have been following CDC, Federal, and local government guidelines to protect those with connections or business interests of any and all types. This is our top priority. Despite all the nation (and world) has been through for the last several months, we’ve always believed there is an important line between thoughtful, constructive actions and fear-based paralysis. We have moved from Phase 1 of our summer sales and leadership program – done virtually using Zoom – to Phase 2 in which students have resumed serving families by going door-to-door in counties, cities, and municipalities that have re-opened for retail business and are allowing us to join their efforts.

We believe that with schools being closed all across the nation, the educational resources and support that the young men and women in our program provide to families is more essential than it’s ever been. We applaud those who have chosen to spend this historic season serving the educational needs of families. The hundreds of young American men and women who participate come from over 100 institutions across the U.S. deserve a chance to have an experiential education, gain life skills, earn college credit hours, and help offset their educational expenses. We’re proud to be associated with them. 

Applicable Safety Measures & Precautions

Throughout our 152-year history of this program, we have worked to ensure the safety of all involved. To this end, the following specific measures have been taken and continue as part of this summer’s standard operating procedures: 

Phase 1

  • In adapting to the situation presented by the virus, all of the students participated in a 2 to 3 week time period of quarantined virtual training and sales. They were placed in Airbnbs in their home states with only a few other program participants. During this time, their temperatures were checked daily and interaction with others was limited. Masks, hand sanitizer and frequent hand-washing was encouraged.

Phase 2

  • Students traveled with their roommates to Williamson County, TN for sales training. Although the county had reopened, students were still separated into multiple hotels, wore masks, and practiced social distancing.
  • Each student has been issued 3 reusable masks to be worn during training and throughout the summer (or as requested by any homeowner/family they visit). The masks have our company logo on them for identification.
  • All student participants are living either with a local host family that has space for social distancing, or are in an Airbnb that accommodates for social distancing.
  • Students have been trained to practice social distancing by maintaining a six feet space between them and any prospect or customer, asking each family if they prefer the visit to remain outdoors.
  • Students are having their temperatures taken daily, many times twice daily, to keep record of any abnormalities that would indicate the need for testing.
  • Students are trained to maintain possession of their demonstration materials.
  • Students accept touch-free payment methods.
  • Students are trained to remind families, particularly children, of the importance of covering coughs and sneezes and to wash your hands regularly.
  • Students are asked to check in with the local police or Sheriff’s Department prior to starting their business. They should display necessary permits (if applicable or required) and identification as they work.
  • Sales Leaders with Southwestern Advantage are checking in daily with students to monitor their health, wellness, and continued safety and best-practices training.
  • Customers have the option of having their order shipped directly to their home rather than having the student personally deliver the products.
  • It is important to note: we have had no cases of COVID-19 within our management and support teams or the 700+ US college and university students who have chosen to participate in the program in 2020.

Looking Ahead

Just like our leaders in government (Federal and local), we do not know how this pandemic will look short-term or long-term. As a company, we continue to be a responsible corporate citizen and follow all CDC, Federal, and local guidelines to protect everyone. In the months ahead, we will continue to observe the state of the virus and adjust accordingly. 

There are urgent needs for at-home education for families across the nation. As we transition back to a similar version of our traditional processes of selling, we diligently work to provide a safe environment to build skills and character in young people and serve the families who purchase our products. We thank the students, parents, customers, and community leaders who have shared in our problem-solving mentality with an attitude of finding a way.

The Southwestern Global Academy products are needed more than ever in households across America. The lessons of self-reliance and resilience our program has taught for over a century-and-a-half are also needed more than ever by the young people who participate in our program.

Public Guidelines

Please visit the CDC’s website for the most current information and guidelines about COVID-19.



Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Southwestern Advantage Facts

Southwestern Advantage - A Member of Southwestern Family of Companies

Our Family of Companies features 29 brands that serve businesses and consumers through financial services, consulting, real estate, fundraising, insurance, direct sales, executive placement and more. Southwestern Advantage is the founding company (1855), providing America's oldest entrepreneurial program for university students (1868). Participants of the program regularly find career opportunities within Southwestern Advantage and our Southwestern Family of Companies.

AWARDS & RECOGNITION

  • 1,500+ participants from 200+ campuses and 20+ countries each year
  • Winner of the CEIA Charles F. Kettering Award for Top Internship in the U.S. - presented to Southwestern Advantage and Dr. Ralph Brigham, our Global Director of Campus Relations
  • Recognized by the industry experts at WayUp as one of the nation's Top 100 Internship Programs
  • Recognized three years by Nashville's leading newspaper, The Tennessean, as a "Top Workplace"
  • Two-time "Best In Business" award winner by Nashville Business Journal for accelerated growth and community impact

PRODUCT PARTNERSHIPS

ALUMNI

ETHICAL COMMERCE

  • Approximately 150,000 families invest in Southwestern Advantage products each summer
  • Southwestern Advantage is an accredited and charter member of the Better Business Bureau of Middle Tennessee since 1961 with an A+ rating
  • Recipient of the BBB Torch Award for Ethical Commerce

DIRECT SALES AND MARKETING

  • Southwestern Advantage is America's oldest single-level direct sales and marketing program
  • Participants take consumers' orders and payments, company inventories and ships product orders, difference between the products' wholesale cost and retail price is the participant's profit - similar to any small business owner
  • Zero sign-up costs, entry fees, or financial endorsements required
  • All initial training and sales materials are provided free of charge
  • Participants' parents are included in the selection process by receiving a packet of information from the company, followed by their signing of a Parent Support Letter that simply states their awareness and approval, followed further by ongoing email updates from the student's leaders
  • No quotas for sales or recruitment
  • Leading member of the Direct Selling Association, holding direct sales companies accountable to ethical business practices and DSA Code of Ethics
  • Southwestern Advantage has testified in support of anti-pyramid scheme legislation
  • Company president, Dan Moore, elected to the DSA Board of Directors
  • Listed on DSA Global 100

CAMPUS PARTNERSHIPS AND MEMBERSHIPS

  • Most students are eligible for 3-9 hours of transfer college credit via Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Partners with Pi Sigma Epsilon (PSE)
  • Member of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE)
  • Premium Partner with Handshake - the leading platform connecting campus career centers, employers and students

CAREER SERVICES

COMMUNITY IMPACT

For more information about Southwestern Advantage and our family of companies, open our online brochure, visit our Instagram Facebook, or browse our website.


Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Share The Advantage: Leona Vicario

We believe in the power of serving others.


Each summer, Southwestern Advantage Reps can opt-in to participate in Service Week. The amount they choose to donate from their personal profits goes toward the service project held on their incentive trip. In 2019, over $26,000 was donated to help the Mayan village of Leona Vicario, Mexico.
For a long-term impact, a wing was added to the town library specific to children and special-needs children. On the two days Southwestern Advantage Reps went to the village, over 30 mini-service projects took place. Homes received new roofs, dirt floors were replaced with concrete floors, food, diapers and medicine were delivered to those in need, plumbing was installed in homes without, and two churches received supplies for local aid.
Reps also spent time getting to know local families, library staff, and the school children who benefited from their assistance. The Mayor, City Delegate, and townspeople said, “Southwestern Advantage is now a part of our life and town. You are now all citizens of Leona Vicario. Our home is your home!”


Special thanks to:
City Delegate Chano de Leona
Projects Coordinator Nayeli Fregoso Martinez




Thursday, July 25, 2019

Southwestern Advantage Partners to Fight Human Trafficking

Southwestern Advantage is honored to have an official partnership with
END SLAVERY TENNESSEE. ESTN promotes the healing of human trafficking survivors and strategically confronts slavery through training, aftercare, advocacy and prevention services.



ESTN is the single point of contact for all human trafficking referrals in Middle Tennessee and provides comprehensive, holistic, trauma-informed care to every survivor in their program. We are honored to be partners with ESTN and to stand with our student reps against human trafficking.

Learn more about our Share The Advantage initiative: http://www.southwesternadvantage.com/Share-The-Advantage



Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Dr. Ralph Brigham & Southwestern Advantage Awarded Top Internship in U.S. for 2019



Dr. Ralph Brigham and Southwestern Advantage have been selected as recipients of the 2019 Charles F. Kettering Award. 

Each year, Cooperative Education & Internship Association (CEIA) recognizes one recipient of the Charles F. Kettering Award for excellence in industry, business, or government internship/cooperative education programs. CEIA is the national leader in cooperative education and internship program management. 

This award comes with the distinction of being rated as the top rated internship/cooperative education employer in the nation providing outstanding resources and service to college students and the profession. Southwestern Advantage joins a prestigious group of past winners including IBM, NASA, Walt Disney, AT&T, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bloomingdale’s, Ford, and General Motors.
For the past 17 years Dr. Brigham has served as the company’s Global Director of Campus Relations. In his role, Dr. Brigham is the liaison between universities and Southwestern Advantage in building and maintaining relationships with the more than 200 universities in North America, Europe, and Asia that have students participating in the program (over 1,600 campuses total in 151 years of continuous operation). He has been invited to speak to students at universities across the United States and in France, England, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, Kazakhstan to name some recent countries. 

Dr. Brigham has served as the president of the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), which includes about 9,000 careers center professionals and campus relations directors. And, in 2013 he was inducted into the NACE Academy of Fellows. Prior to his time with Southwestern Advantage, he was the Director of Career Services at Montana State University. He is currently serving as Professional Vice President of the National Council for Pi Sigma Epsilon, the professional sales and leadership fraternity. Dr. Brigham is a certified life coach, mentoring students and professionals in topics like finance, career, and health and wellness, and developing habits to build a successful life.

I am humbled and honored to be recognized by CEIA, and for Southwestern Advantage to also be recognized alongside some of the top companies in the world. For over 150 years, Southwestern Advantage has provided services and opportunities for college students to gain an experiential education through our entrepreneurial program. This award is a result of the principles that the company stands for and instills in the students who participate,” said Dr. Brigham.

Southwestern Advantage is the oldest entrepreneurial program in the United States. Since 1868, Southwestern Advantage has offered a sales & leadership program that gives university students a way to afford their degrees, gain entrepreneurial skills, and build character. Each summer, a sales force of nearly 1,500 independent student reps market an educational learning system to families across the US & Canada through direct sales.

In addition, Southwestern Advantage empowers university students with the tools, training, and coaching they need to build their own businesses and gain transferable life skills. The product line of early learning, homework help, and SAT/ACT resources help millions of children excel academically and feel excited about school. Student representatives meet with families for short consultative visits to discuss education and show a line of websites, apps, and books that help families reach their academic goals. 



Southwestern Advantage is a member of Southwestern Family of Companies:

Established in Nashville, Tennessee in 1855, Southwestern Family of Companies is a diversified, growing, international, and employee-owned company built on a foundation of principles and purpose. Comprised of companies with a shared mission of building people and helping others, Southwestern Family of Companies provides a large range of products and services, including educational books and websites, school fundraising efforts, healthy meal solutions, luxury travel packages, financial advising, consulting services, sales and leadership coaching and more. 

Southwestern Family of Companies has expanded beyond Southwestern Advantage to include member companies across a range of industries and continues to grow each year. For more information, visit https://southwestern.com/companies/southwestern-advantage/

Press Release
Contact: Trey Campbell, APR 
Director of Communications
615-391-2801 
tcampbell@southwestern.com
www.southwesternadvantage.com

View Press Release:
https://www.directsellingnews.com/southwestern-advantage/