Many businesses support the educational attainment of current and future employees by partnering with community colleges and other education providers in Learn and Earn models of talent development. Learn and Earn model partnerships are formulated around the distinct connection between college completion and workforce preparedness. Relevant job experience is often critical to individuals who need their education to prepare them for the workforce. The correlation between education and work, combined with economic forecasts make partnerships between businesses and community colleges a smart solution that can mutually benefit educators and individuals.
Businesses and Community Colleges Partnerships: A Blueprint
Research on education and skills levels of employees and jobs available in the future is clear. Recent projections by The Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce indicate, by 2018, the economy will experience 47 million job openings, two-thirds of which will require some postsecondary education or training. Predictions indicate that there will not be enough people qualified to fill three million of these jobs, jobs which require at least a two-year associate’s degree. Without strategic change this gap will only continue to grow – hurting individuals, their families, our communities and our nation’s economy.
A distinct connection exists between college completion and workforce preparedness. Relevant job experience is critical for individuals who want their education to prepare them for the workforce. The correlation between education and work, combined with economic forecasts make partnerships between businesses and community colleges a smart solution that can mutually benefit employers, educators and individuals.
Corporate Voices encourages the scaling of best practice Learn and Earn model partnerships, which are collaborations that integrate important aspects of employment and education for working learners. Business and Community College Partnerships: A Blueprint helps practitioners create and sustain these partnerships to increase the skills of employees and college completion rates.
To download Business and Community College Partnerships: A Blueprint, please click here.
Businesses and Community Colleges Must Team Together
The June/July 2012 edition of Community College Journal features an article on mutually beneficial partnerships between community colleges and businesses. "Working With Industry," by Ellen Ullman, relates how building these partnerships within communities can aid community colleges not only with funding, but also the development and implementation of programs of study that result in students completing and obtaining credentials with labor market value.
As Ms. Ullman succinctly states in her article, “The decision to work with industry seems like a no-brainer. Local businesses and corporations have a vested interest in seeing students succeed. And community colleges have a reputation for tailoring curricula to local needs.” Corporate Voices sees the reasons to work with community colleges as equally compelling and encourages best practice companies to become Learn and Earn leaders.
Learn and Earn Community College Business Case Series
Corporate Voices, in partnership with the League for Innovation in the Community College, is committed to identifying and spotlighting community college and business Learn and Earn partnerships. Through the Learn and Earn Community College Business Case Series, community college leaders can learn:
- How best practice partnerships are established with business;
- The benefits for community colleges to participate; and
- The impact on the working learner.
Lane Community College:
Students in Lane Community College’s cooperative education program gain relevant, on-the-job work experience at a small, local technology firm, Applied Scientific Instrumentation, that seeks specialized skills and talent, and with a solid return on investment for the college.
Brookhaven College: The industry apprenticeship program at Brookhaven College leads to specialized training, increased postsecondary credentials, and local business efficiency.