A partnership will provide discounts on classes and other resources at Walsh College for Troy Chamber of Commerce members, and their employees and families.

A partnership will provide discounts on classes and other resources at Walsh College for Troy Chamber of Commerce members, and their employees and families.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Troy Chamber, Walsh College launch partnership for discounts on courses

By: Brendan Losinski | Troy Times | Published February 10, 2024


TROY — Citing economic challenges and the quest for talent retention, Walsh College and the Troy Chamber of Commerce have joined forces to launch what they are calling the Preferred Education Partnership, a program aimed at supporting businesses and nurturing and retaining talent within Michigan, they said.

The partnership is offering 5%-15% discounts on undergraduate and graduate courses, professional development, and continuing education at Walsh College for Troy Chamber members, their employees — and in many cases — their families.

“Any Troy Chamber member and all of their employees can qualify for these discounts,” said Troy Chamber President and CEO Tara Tomcsik-Husak. “In addition, if they want to extend that discount to employees’ immediate family members, they can do so for a small fee. That helps cover costs and to start a scholarship fund for those same chamber members.”

“Our vision is to increase access and opportunity in business degrees and education,” added Suzy Siegle, the president of Walsh College. “We believe that education opens doors and pathways of opportunity. It creates better societies, better lives and better communities. My advice is not to leave this on the table, and educate and empower the future.”

The organizers of the partnership said it will make the road to higher education less strenuous for those willing to invest in Troy.

“Any course offerings that are available. This includes accounting, MBAs, cybersecurity and so forth,” said Tomcsik-Husak. “To explore these opportunities, they have to go to www.troychamber.com and go to the PEP page. All information can be found there.”

“We’ve been able to offer an incentive for chamber members, and they get 5% off of undergraduate classes, 15% off of graduate classes and 15% off of doctoral classes,” said Siegle. “Any professional development at the graduate level also gets 15% off. Additionally, they get a discount on rental spaces.”

The partnership was announced in 2023, when the chamber moved its offices onto Walsh’s Troy campus.

“It was synergistic with the relocation of the chamber’s offices to Walsh’s campus. We see the best of both worlds with business and education. Walsh has been in business for more than 100 years. Our founder worked with Thomas Edison,” said Siegle. “We wanted to further our investment in the community so business owners, their employers and their families could get what they need.”

Siegle said that while some are doubting the cost-benefit value of college degrees in the modern workforce, she said that the evidence is in favor of college education.

“Despite the continual questions we see swirling around about the value of degrees in articles like the ones published by USA Today and Forbes Magazine, data and evidence shows greater health, wealth and overall life satisfaction as they move through the education process,” she said.

Siegle cited The Education Data Initiative, which states that the return on investment of a bachelor’s degree over a 20-year period has been 38.1%, with a lifetime ROI of 287.7%, adding that studies have also shown students gain in nonpecuniary ways, including enhanced quality of life, a deeper sense of purpose, exposure to diverse populations and developing lifelong friendships.

Walsh College stated its data shows that the most cost-efficient degrees are in computer and information sciences, with a lifetime ROI of 716.6%, while business finance has an ROI of 710.2%, business accounting has an ROI of 547.2%, and electrical engineering has an ROI of 517.8%.

Tomcsik-Husak stressed the difference this partnership could make for chamber members and their families.

“Michigan thrives when its businesses and talent flourish. The PEP initiative is a testament to our dedication to the state’s economic vitality. By equipping our workforce with advanced skills and knowledge, we are not just supporting individual careers but are also fortifying Michigan’s position in the national and global economy,” she said. “We are hoping this is a permanent offer. It just launched in January, so we are hoping to see this grow. This is the largest discount that Walsh is giving to anyone. They are investing in the local business community.”

Tomcsik-Husak said they hope this partnership will mean more Walsh graduates looking for jobs in Troy, more chamber members remaining in Troy, and creating a more fertile environment for business growth in the Troy community.

“Ideally, what we are trying to do is help our companies attract and retain talent and also keep that talent local as well,” she said. “Say a company has employees who aren’t necessarily looking to further their education. They may be willing to stay at a local job here if that discount can be given to a child or spouse. It can also be a tool a business can put into people’s benefit packages to attract people to Troy businesses.”