4 Ways To Build Better Partnerships Between Education and Workforce

Posted by Strada Education Network on December 7, 2021

More than 18 months into the pandemic, the employment headlines can seem like an algebraic riddle: If U.S. employers are seeking workers to fill 10.9 million jobs, how can 8.4 million workers be unemployed?

“For all of us in the room who’ve been chipping away at this problem, the problem has magnified,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, CEO of Futuro Health, who spoke during a panel discussion at the 2021 CAEL Annual Conference in San Diego.

Among the ideas panelists shared for building better partnerships to improve the education-workforce system:

  • Seek novel ways for employers to contribute. Among other ways, employers can bring value by providing technology and tools needed for the instruction and offering internships, apprenticeships, or co-ops so students can learn and work at the same time.
  • Demonstrate to employers that community colleges and four-year colleges and universities are prepared to be agile and collaborative. Focus on addressing faulty system design over fixing a problem with money alone.
  • Reconsider how money is distributed — a step that can lead to better, more collaborative innovation.
  • Consider improving a community to be a success — even if an education-workforce partnership’s work cannot be scaled to fix a systemic problem. “Just keep doing what you’re doing,” CAEL President Earl Buford said. “Keep involving the right players. Don’t stop doing what you do, and just continue to talk to your partners about how can we do more of this?”

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