High-quality CTE: Business and Community Partnerships
Click the + sign next to each category below to explore resources that align with the Business and Community Partnerships element of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study FrameworkTM.
Research and Reports
- Shifting the Skills Conversation: Employer Attitudes and Outcomes of Career and Technical Education – Advance CTE, October 2021
Based on a national survey of more than 300 professionals, this report outlines findings on CTE’s role in employer hiring decisions and support for CTE programs.
- Opportunities to Advance Statewide Industry Collaboration and Engagement in Career and Technical Education – Advance CTE, April 2021
Using research on Perkins V state plans and interviews with CTE leaders in five states, this report summarizes strategies that states are employing to engage business and industry leaders in support of CTE.
- Taking Business to School series – ACTE, 2020-2021
The Taking Business to School series describes 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. Case studies include Vancouver Public Schools and TechSmart, Gateway Technical College and SC Johnson, Grand Forks Public Schools and Northrop Grumman, WSU Tech and Snap-On and West-MEC and Palo Verde Generating Station. The series also includes A Resource Guide for Building an Employer Partner Engagement Plan.
- Partnerships to Align Education and Careers – Southern Regional Education Board, October 2020
Informed by discussions with the Commission on Strategic Partnerships for Work-Ready Students, this report outlines 11 recommendations for states when developing strategic industry sector partnerships, accompanied by strategies and examples.
- Exploring Employer Perspectives of Community College Career and Technical Programs ($) – Gauthier, Career and Technical Education Research, May 2020
This research study explores employer’s perspectives of community college CTE programs and uncovers characteristics employers are seeking when hiring candidates.
- Hiring in the Modern Talent Marketplace – U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, February 2020
Based on a survey of 500 hiring decision makers, this report offers statistics and insight on the skills gap that persists in the U.S. labor market.
- Cheat Sheet: Opportunities for Employer Involvement in CTE – Advance CTE, October 2019
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.
- 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.
- Powerful Partners: Businesses and Community Colleges – Brown, National Skills Coalition, July 2018
This report provides case studies of successful postsecondary-industry partnerships in Louisiana, Minnesota and Illinois and highlights ways that the Higher Education Act can support business partnerships.
- Powerhouse Partnerships: Community Colleges and Workforce Boards Working Together – U.S. Department of Labor, June 2018
This report describes strategies to facilitate partnerships between community colleges and workforce boards.
- The State of CTE: Increasing Access to Industry Experts in High Schools – Advance CTE & 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.
- In Their Words: Why Business Leaders Support CTE, Career Pathways and Career Academies – Advance CTE, November 2016
In partnership with Ford Next Generation Learning, Advance CTE convened roundtables with employers deeply involved in CTE in their communities to devise ways in which employers can better support CTE programs. This report summarizes the conversations from these roundtables and offers strategies and recommendations to consider when engaging with employers and designing partner recruitment strategies.
- Talent Orchestrators: Scaling Youth Employment Through Business-Facing Intermediaries – U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2016
This report outlines how employers and employer associations can partner with business-facing intermediaries to scale youth employment efforts.
- 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.
- Integrating Industry-Driven Competencies in Education and Training Through Employer Engagement – White House Summit on Community Colleges, January 2012
This publication discusses how employers can engage in curriculum development with community colleges and offers examples of this model in Kentucky, Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois.
- From High School to Career: A Strategy to Weather Talent’s Perfect Storm – Council on Adult and Experiential Learning, 2012
Across the country, businesses are partnering with high schools and colleges to build programs that develop the skills needed for employment within their own industry. This report covers exemplary high school-to-career programs.
Toolkits, Guides and Frameworks
This toolkit can help program leaders expand the scope and quality of their work-based learning opportunities through improved employer partner engagement. It includes resources and a sample project plan.
- Strengthening Employer and Industry Engagement: A Self-Assessment Tool for Youth Apprenticeship Leaders – National Governors Association, October 2021
This tool helps measure how effectively a youth apprenticeship program is engaging employers and industry to meet program development, implementation and sustainability goals through a self-assessment, examples, reflection questions and suggested next steps.
- High-quality CTE: Planning for a COVID-19 Impacted School Year – ACTE, June 2020
This guide was designed to help CTE leaders make difficult decisions as they offer remote, blended and socially distanced learning during COVID-19. It is organized around the elements of the ACTE Quality CTE Program of Study Framework, including guidance related to business and community partnerships.
- Talent Pipeline Management Resource Guide: A Compendium for High-Quality CTE – U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, May 2020
This guide introduces the Talent Pipeline Management framework, an approach to creating pathways for students and workers with talent pipelines aligned to business needs, and includes resources on how to build partnerships between CTE programs and employers through the TPM framework.
- A Guide for Local Leaders: Maximizing Perkins V’s Comprehensive Local Needs Assessment & Local Application to Drive CTE Program Quality and Equity – ACTE, March 2019
This tool provides an overview of the Perkins V comprehensive local needs assessment and helps you translate the language in the law into concrete, actionable steps, including engaging business and community partners.
- Stakeholders and Perkins V: Meaningful Engagement for Student Success – Council of Chief State School Officers, February 2019
This guide provides state agencies with detailed guidance on how to connect, speak and learn from stakeholders during the Perkins V process, including stakeholder engagement checklists, best practices, planning tools and suggested timelines.
- Question Bank for Workforce Service Providers: A Tool for Working with Retailers – Blair, Weissbourd & Newman, Aspen Institute, 2019
This question bank can help workforce development professionals craft learning-focused conversations with retail business representatives, such as store managers and human resources professionals.
- Planning for Engagement: Identifying Key Stakeholders for Perkins V – Advance CTE, October 2018
This toolkit explains the types of stakeholder engagement required in Perkins V and helps states devise their plan for engaging stakeholders.
- Building Cross-Sector Partnerships to Support Career and Technical Education Pathways: A Playbook for State Policymakers – Mezera & Suffren, ExcelinEd, April 2018
This playbook examines seven key elements for developing strong cross-sector partnerships among secondary and postsecondary CTE programs, employers and industry organizations, along with examples of state and regional partnerships.
- Connecting Community Colleges with Employers: A Toolkit for Building Successful Partnerships – Mann, Brookings Institution, July 2017
This toolkit advises community colleges on how to build sustainable workforce development programs by partnering with local business and industry leaders.
- Addressing the Challenges of Growing an Effective Advisory Committee – Biggerstaff, The CTE Journal, Fall 2016
This article identifies obstacles that educators confront when expanding effective program advisory committees and offers strategies to overcome these obstacles.
- 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.
- The Employer Engagement Toolkit ($) – Pawlowski & Katz, 2014
This resource describes nine models for building relationships with employer partners, explains how to effectively track partnership outcomes and includes 15 case studies.
- Building Advisory Boards That Matter ($) – Pawlowski & Meeder, 2012
Effectively engaging a variety of key stakeholders is critical to creating an advisory board. This book addresses developing advisory boards to build capacity, pull in new resources and expertise, and provide students and staff with opportunities they could never realize otherwise.
- Forms on File: Advisory Boards ($) – Suddreth
This resource compiles documents for starting and operating an effective advisory board, including invitation templates, bylaws, agendas and more.
- Taking Business to School Webinar Series – ACTE, 2021 – 2022
The Taking Business to School webinar series identifies examples of successful partnerships between industry and education institutions, both secondary and postsecondary, to develop career pathways and provide meaningful work-based learning that leads to careers. Partnerships featured in the webinar series include Vancouver Public Schools and TechSmart, Gateway Technical College and SC Johnson, Grand Forks Public Schools and Northrop Grumman, WSU Tech and Snap-On and West-MEC and Palo Verde Generating Station.
- Talent Pipeline Management: Strategies for Connecting Classrooms to Careers – Advance CTE, June 2020
This webinar focuses on how CTE leaders can build meaningful partnerships with employers to create a talent pipeline that improves learner outcomes and meets workforce demands.
- Engaging Industry Partners to Create Authentic Learning Experiences – ACTE, March 2020
What happens when learning spills outside of traditional class structures? How can educators and industry partners cooperate to provide authentic, challenging and fun learning opportunities for students? Project-based learning expert Heather Buskirk and New York State Principal of the Year Mike Dardaris discuss how to incorporate business partners into classroom projects.
- High Quality CTE Programs of Study – 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, July 2016
Led by Dr. Rick Kalk, this webinar discusses developing partnerships with business and industry leaders as an essential way for keeping programs relevant.
- Employer & Industry Engagement series ($) – CTE Learn
This series of courses for career support staff reviews the essentials for developing strong relationships with employers, including how to become an effective job developer, creating effective career fairs, maintaining employer partnerships and establishing employer advisory boards.
- Leveraging Community Resources to Energize CTE ($) – CTE Learn
This course provides strategies for expanding community engagement as an effective way to add human resources and energy to school CTE programs.
- Setting Up an Effective Alumni Association ($) – CTE Learn
This course describes how you can create active alumni communities to increase enrollment, retention and placement for your entire institution.