How colleges can work with industry

Business partnerships can help community colleges develop and fund Learn and Earn programs that prepare students for real jobs, writes Ellen Ullman in Working With Industry. “The decision to work with industry seems like a no-brainer,” she writes in Community College Journal.  ”Local businesses and corporations have a vested interest in seeing students succeed. And community colleges have a reputation for tailoring curricula to local needs.”

Business partners can provide their real-time needs to academia and validate learning outcomes, often connected to industry-recognized credentials. This leads to improved job placement rates and greater visibility for the program. Community colleges, typically, are deeply connected to the regional economy and have the flexibility needed to expand curricula and programs as the needs of the region and its employers develop.

Through a Learn and Earn partnership, each member is able to meet several goals. Businesses are able to create a talent pipeline through which current and future employees receive 21stcentury workplace education and training. This leads to improved retention rates among employees, improved skill and education levels, and a boost in productivity.  Community colleges receive validated curriculum, increased revenue, and increased ability to meet their student completion goals.

Corporate Voices’ micro-case studies profile 22 Learn and Earn partnerships.