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

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.

Microwebinar: Business and Community Partnerships
ACTE, March 2019

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.

Business and industry partnerships: Online Seminar
ACTE, 2016

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.

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.

Question Bank for Workforce Service Providers: A Tool for Working with Retailers
Blair, Weissbourd & Newman, Aspen Institute, 2019

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.