Business and Community Partnerships

Business and community partnerships is one of 12 elements of high-quality CTE, defined in ACTE’s comprehensive, research-based Quality CTE Program of Study Framework. This element addresses business and community partner recruitment, partnership structure and the wide variety of activities partners should be engaged in to support the program of study and ensure programs are aligned with workforce needs. The following reports, articles, guides and toolkits can help you develop and support high-quality business and community partnerships.

Employer Engagement Strategies

Employer Engagement Strategies

Defining Quality: Business and Community Partnerships
ACTE, March 2019

This publication describes the criteria within the Business and Community Partnerships element of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, recommends types of evidence that programs can consider when assessing their performance against these quality criteria, and shares case studies of programs and institutions doing exemplary work to develop and leverage partnerships.

Taking Business to School Case Study Series
ACTE, various

These case studies examine how employers across industries have engaged with education institutions, both secondary and postsecondary, to develop career pathways and provide meaningful work-based learning that leads to careers.

Partnerships Make CTE Aviation Training Soar
Todd, ACTE Techniques Magazine, January 2018

At East Valley Institute of Technology, students take their first steps toward a range of aviation careers. Courses rely heavily on expensive equipment and guidance from industry to ensure training meets current needs and standards.

Finding and Engaging Business Partners
Pawlowski, ACTE Techniques Magazine, March 2016

The authors describe how to find and engage business partners by developing a target list and tapping into personal networks and networking organizations, and how to move through the three stages from first contact to active partnership.

The Role of Industry-Education Partnerships in Creating Career Pathways
King, ACTE Techniques Magazine, March 2016

This article highlights effective industry-education partnerships. Examples are shared from the Industrial Company and Navajo Technical University, Gulf Power and West Florida High School of Advanced Technology, and DuPont and Nashville State Community College. The author includes 12 steps for effective collaboration.

The Kentucky Federation for Advanced Manufacturing Education: Employer Engagement at Its Best 
Leveridge, ACTE Techniques Magazine, March 2016

KY FAME created an apprentice-style hybrid model designed to develop globally competitive talent locally.

Industry Support Helps EVIT CTE Programs Thrive
Todd, ACTE Techniques Magazine, March 2016

This article describes how East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT) programs have harnessed advisory councils of industry representatives to ensure that EVIT students are trained to meet the latest industry standards and are motivated to stay in school.

Creating Industry Relationships That Work
Mclaverty et. al, ACTE Techniques Magazine, May 2015

Philadelphia has built strong industry partnerships through a three-tiered advisory structure that retains the elements required by CTE regulation, but also creates new relationships and opportunities in support of systemic change in how students learn and how teachers teach.

National Certification: A Differentiator for Health Science Graduates
McDonald, ACTE Techniques Magazine, Nov/Dec 2014

The author describes how programs can work with the National Healthcareer Association to integrate certifications into their curricula.

Joining Hands: CTE Programs Partner With Employers for Success 
Jackson, ACTE Techniques Magazine, January 2014

This article zeroes in on how CTE programs in Montgomery, Alabama, have engaged and incentivized employer participation.

Business and Industry and Greene County Career Center Succeed as a Team 
Keller and Schroer, ACTE Techniques Magazine, March 2013

This article shares student success stories from Ohio’s Greene County Career Center.

A Public + Private Mashup for Computer Science Education 
Wang, ACTE Techniques Magazine, January 2013

The founder of the Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program describes how it recruits, trains, mentors and places high-tech professionals in high school computer science classes in a team-teaching model with in-service teachers.

The State of CTE: Increasing Access to Industry Experts in High Schools
Advance CTE and Center on Great Teachers and Leaders, December 2016

Industry experts are in short supply in secondary classrooms. This publication recommends ways to increase access to industry experts, including alternative certification and allowing experts to teach part-time or co-teach with a fully certified teacher of record.

The State of Career Technical Education: Employer Engagement in CTE
Advance CTE, January 2014

This publication presents strategies for advancing employer engagement. While many strategies are directed at the state level, several practices described can be of use to local administrators.

In Their Words: Why Business Leaders Support CTE, Career Pathways and Career Academies
Advance CTE, November 2016

Advance CTE and Ford Next Generation Learning partnered to host two roundtables with employers, big and small, who are deeply involved in CTE in their communities, to learn more about why and how employers can support and strengthen CTE programs.

Integrating Industry-Driven Competencies in Education and Training Through Employer Engagement
White House Summit on Community Colleges, January 2012

This report shares examples of employer engagement in curriculum development at community colleges.

A Framework for Evaluating Implementation of Community College Workforce Education Partnerships and Programs
SRI Education, August 2015

The Workforce Education Implementation Evaluation is a framework for evaluating hard-to-measure aspects of the design, development and delivery of workforce education partnerships and programs.

Developing Successful Partnerships with Business and the Community
Various authors, New Directions for Community Colleges, 2002

All 10 articles in this journal issue investigate partnerships among community colleges, business and the community. The articles each address how partnership connections were made, the challenges overcome and the type of support necessary for continuation.

Four Ways to Increase the Value of Short-term Credentials: A Guide for Community Colleges
Buckwalter, Jobs for the Future, December 2017

This report identifies the main types of credentials offered by community colleges, summarizes the extent to which sub-associate credentials serve as a tool for industry to identify talent, explores barriers and highlights examples of community college efforts toward increasing employer demand for short-term credentials.

Talent Orchestrators: Scaling Youth Employment Through Business-Facing Intermediaries
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2016

Employers and employer associations can leverage business-facing intermediaries as talent orchestrators to manage their human capital needs and scale youth employment efforts.

Advisory Boards

Advisory Boards

Lessons in Collaboration: Principles in the Governance of an Industry Advisory Board

This paper from ACTE’s Research-to-Practice series reviews the research on industry advisory boards and on organizational development and collaboration, and provides tips on applying these lessons in your CTE program or school.

Advisory Boards: Gateway to Business Engagement
Meeder and Pawlowski, ACTE Techniques Magazine, February 2012

This article explains the benefits of creating a business advisory board for your program, describes how to go about building and managing a board, and shares tips to focus and energize the board.

Developing a “High-Impact” Industry Advisory Board
McIntyre, North Dakota State University, February 2015

This paper gives a comprehensive overview of all of the duties, responsibilities, activities and operational procedures of an industry advisory board, based on fundamental managerial theories. It includes a sample confirmation letter, a sample meeting notice, a sample meeting agenda, sample meeting minutes and a template for developing bylaws.

Addressing the Challenges of Growing an Effective Advisory Committee
Biggerstaff, The CTE Journal, Fall 2016

Educators face several challenges when working to grow an effective program advisory committee.

Guides and Toolkits

Guides and Toolkits

Employer Engagement Toolkit ($)
Pawlowski and Katz, National Center for College and Career Transitions, 2014

A guide to finding partners and making them a part of your program, this toolkit describes nine models you can consider when building relationships with your partners, explains how to design an effective measurement/evaluation model to track outcomes for your partnerships and includes 15 case studies.

Partnership Guide for Career Academies
Career Academy Support Network, 2010

This handbook features 15 steps to building and maintaining a large partner base for a career academy.

Connecting Community Colleges with Employers: A Toolkit for Building Successful Partnerships
Mann, Brookings Institution, July 2017

Practical steps for building relationships between community colleges and industry are provided in this publication.

Building Advisory Boards That Matter ($)
Pawlowski and Meeder, National Center for College and Career Transitions, 2012

Effectively engaging a variety of key stakeholders is critical to creating an advisory board. This book addresses steering your program, building capacity, pulling in new resources and expertise, and providing students and staff with opportunities they could never realize otherwise.

Forms on File: Advisory Boards ($)
Suddreth, National Center for College and Career Transitions, 2015

Forms on File: Advisory Boards gives you the documents you need to start and operate an effective advisory board. You will find examples of invitations to join a board, bylaws for governing the board and documents to help make meetings operate smoothly and efficiently.

Career Pathways Advisory Committee Toolkit
Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), 2011

The purpose of this toolkit is to help educators and business/industry representatives strengthen CTE pathways system through the use of advisory committees. It includes a guide for business/industry members on roles and responsibilities, with related interactive forms.

Career Program Advisory Committee Handbook
Minnesota Department of Education, 2016

This state handbook shares guidance on recruiting members, managing the advisory committee and goal setting and planning, along with case studies and advisory committee forms.

Colorado CTE Advisory Committee Handbook
Colorado Community College System, March 2016

This Colorado guide addresses advisory committee development, committee structure and organization, effective meetings, program of work development and sustainability, with templates and forms.

New Jersey CTE Program Advisory Committee Handbook
New Jersey Department of Education

New Jersey’s Office of Career Readiness developed this handbook on establishing, implementing, evaluating and recognizing an advisory committee, with templates for a variety of documents.

North Dakota Program Advisory Committee Guide
North Dakota Department of CTE, 2017

This state’s guide outlines the duties of the instructor/administrator establishing an advisory committee, describes how to conduct meetings and develop a program of work, and includes sample documents.