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Employer Engagement

What are the various ways that employers can and should be involved in design and delivery of adult career pathway (ACP) programs? How do we invite employers to be involved in initial design phases, serve as resource to instructors and students in ACP courses, provide work-based learning opportunities and finally employment options for our learners? What are the interests and motivations of employers to play a role in ACP programs? What are common challenges in education-employer collaborations?

These tools and reference materials will help answer many of these questions and guide you in setting the foundation for best practices in adult career pathway programming.

Building Partnerships: A Growing Role for Program Leaders

New England Literacy Resource Center/World Education, 2016

In this webinar recording, several ABE leaders in the field share their strategies, successes and challenges in building employer relationships and other partnerships to design and delivery quality adult career pathway programming. (1 hour and 10 minutes.)

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Career and Technical Education (CTE) Career Program Advisory Committee Handbook

Minnesota State CTE, 2016

This handbook was developed to guide CTE career programs in how to build and sustain a strong and active advisory committee. It includes advisory committee basics, such as committee structure and leadership roles; how to find and recruit members; how to manage an effective committee; and how to handle long-range planning; plus case studies on effective advisory committees and templates for essential advisory committee work. A helpful resource for ABE in two ways – many of the ideas can be used in your own or your ACP collaboration’s work with employers; and if you have a CTE partner, it’s essential to tap into their existing advisory committee employer relationships.


Career Pathways Toolkit: Element Two - Identify Industry Sectors and Engage Employers

Published by U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration, 2017

Element Two of the Toolkit provides useful guidance and tools to identify industry sectors; conduct labor market analysis; clarify role of employers in program development and operations; and sustain and expand business partnerships. (66 pages.) See esp. Component 2.6: Sustain and Expand Business Partnerships.


Employer Engagement Toolkit: From Placement to Partners

Kevin Doyle, Jobs for the Future

The four sections of this toolkit are designed as modular guides that can stand alone or be used in sequential order. Use the entire toolkit as a package or select individual exercises, checklists, planning guides, or resources that are most relevant to you. Includes an assessment of current employer relationships; provides strategies for new employer outreach; and provides tools that connect employers directly to your ACP program. (82 pages total.)

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Engaging Employers – Setting SMART Goal and Action Steps

ATLAS, Program Development PD Cohort, February 2018

This template, useful in any ACP program development work, guides a step-by-step process to define a goal appropriate for one’s own context for engaging employers in an ACP in new ways. SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-based. Also includes identifying possible obstacles and potential solutions; planning concrete action steps to reach the goal; and reflection questions about what was accomplished and what was learned in the process.


Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways – Making It Happen

ATLAS, 2018

This is a culminating activity on employer engagement for an ACP Program Development cohort of program managers. It guides a process of identifying potential roles for employers in ACP programs; assessing employer partnerships currently in place; seeing opportunities for expanding employer partnerships; and communicating effectively with employers.


Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways – Webinar Recording

ATLAS, Program Development PD Cohort, February 2018

Successful adult career pathway programs involve employers at all phases of planning and implementation. Hear from Minnesota ABE professionals and their employer partners about ways they collaborate, their challenges and successes. Understand the role of Career and Technical Education advisory committees and how ABE can get involved and connect with those employers. Gain strategies for effective employer outreach in your own context.

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Engaging Employers in Adult Career Pathways Online Course

Literacy Information & Communication System (LINCS)

This 2-hour course helps adult education instructors and program administrators understand how to identify, engage, and sustain engagement of appropriate employers in the development of career pathways programs. The course is self-paced and features three modules: Creating a Business-Education Partnership; Building Business Engagement; and Sustaining Business Engagement.

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Download the helpful note-taking guide to get the most out of the online course.


Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs

David Bond, Kratos Learning, 2018

This 10-page issue brief offers practical strategies on engaging employers and building business-education partnerships to support ACP programs, and highlights promising examples from adult education providers in three states.


School Districts as Employer Partners

Hear from a school district recruitment and retention manager about the value of partnering with ABE to fill positions like school bus driver and nutrition service workers in this 7-minute video.

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