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

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.

Join Donna Gilley, director of career and technical education in Nashville, Tennessee, as she discusses business and community partnership structures, how to ensure CTE programs align with the workforce and different ways businesses and communities can partner with CTE programs.

Developing partnerships with business and industry leaders is not only essential for keeping your programs relevant, it’s a powerful way to open up opportunities for your students and grow a network of CTE supporters in your community. Learn where to start and how to strengthen existing relationships! Led by Dr. Rick Kalk.

This fact sheet provides an overview of potential ways employers can engage in CTE programs at the state and local level, with a particular focus on new opportunities under Perkins V.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

This Question Bank is intended to help workforce development professionals craft learning-focused conversations with retail business representatives, such as store managers and human resources professionals.