Employers can improve their fortunes by investing in training and development for their lower-wage employees according. This business brief, released by the National Network for Sector Partners (NNSP), is based on structured interviews with employers around the nation who have achieved significant bottom line benefits by undertaking innovative training and career development efforts targeted at their lower-skilled, lower-wage workers, and providing significant wage increases for those that develop skills the employers value. Many of the employers participate in sector initiatives.
To highlight the growing importance of business engagement in education, the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) and the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, have released a joint publication titled Thriving in Challenging Times: Connecting Education to Economic Development Through Career Pathways.
The publication’s title reflects an increasing awareness among American employers and business leaders of the critical role they must play in supporting successful education models in their local communities, particularly in challenging economic times.
Thriving in Challenging Times profiles 17 local and two statewide career pathways programs from across the U.S. by documenting the challenges, strategies, results, and business engagement each partnership has experienced. Featured industry sectors range from aerospace to healthcare to nuclear energy with business involvement ranging from small businesses to multinational corporations. Each program includes three essential elements for ensuring students are prepared for college and careers –secondary, postsecondary, and business/industry engagement components.
For over a decade Corporate Voices for Working Families (Corporate Voices) has provided leading best-practice employers a forum to improve the lives of working families, while strengthening our nation’s economy. Many employers accomplish this by supporting the educational attainment of current and future employees. In order to ensure that individuals have the skills to succeed in the workplace and are on education and career pathways to earning family sustaining wages, employers often partner with community colleges in Learn and Earn models of talent development. These partnerships integrate important aspects of employment and education for working learners and do so at an attractive price point for working families.
This blueprint, which is intended for business and community college leaders who have limited expertise in forming partnerships and are interested in undertaking such an endeavor, is divided into four sections:
• Overview: Explains how partnerships serve businesses, community colleges and working learners.
• Section I: Targets businesses with strategic ways to leverage community college expertise.
• Section II: Identifies business and community college divisions where partnerships can be integrated.
• Section III: Targets community colleges with the advantages of partnering with business.
This paper discusses the importance of effective training and workforce development programs as part of a broader strategy to increase the competitiveness of American workers. Although rapid technological change and increasing global competition have delivered great economic benefits to the U.S. economy overall, the development of new and more productive industries has caused some Americans to experience significant declines in their earnings and job prospects; the Great Recession exacerbated these longer-term trends. Workers with less education and those who have been displaced from long-tenured jobs face particular challenges, and effective job training programs are an important component of policies to help these workers.
The Hamilton Project proposes two general principles that can guide policy-makers in improving training programs to aid American workers:
1) Training funds should be directed to programs with a track record of success in improving earnings for the specific target population and to those workers who can benefit the most from those programs; and
2) Training programs should directly engage employer and industry partners, or actively guide students to career-specific training.
This report provides insight into how community colleges and community organizations can structure effective relationships with employers and provide services that are valued by the private sector.
This report examines three models of partnerships between business and government that are used to train low-wage workers and help them advance. The three models are: incumbent worker and customized training programs; career ladders or pathways; and state skills certificates and panels.