K-12 Publications

These publications have built the foundation for the strategic approach that we take towards preparing K-12 students for success and connecting those students with real career pathways. 


Bridging the Soft Skills Gap

Published: 2017
  • Makes the case for partnership initiatives between the business and education sectors.
  • Outlines strategies already being used successfully across the country for this partnership.
  • Practical recommendations for businesses seeking to make an impact.
  • Profiles five successful partnerships established by Nike, Ernst & Young, Wegmans, Wynn Las Vegas, and the Northern Kentucky Education Council.

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Career Readiness: A Business Led Approach for Supporting K-12 Schools

Published: 2016
  • Four major ways employers can more strategically engage with their communities to help ensure the next generation of workers leave the classroom ready to succeed in a career. 
  • A review of how states and districts have historically approached career readiness in K-12 schools.
  • A definition of career readiness and an argument for it to be pursued as an integrated measure under postsecondary readiness as part of ESSA state accountability systems.
  • Recommendations for the business community to lead in addressing key implementation challenges involving the career readiness components of a postsecondary readiness indicator.

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Connected to Careers: Expanding Employer Leadership in Career Development

Published: 2016
  • Employers are positioned as customers of career development activities, responsible for locating the right partners to deliver high-quality employer account management. 
  • Salient challenges employers face when engaging career development programs in K-12 schools.
  • Current best practices in the field as well as the limitations of different approaches.
  • Introduces a new approach that helps employers prioritize career development and encourages business associations to drive solutions.  

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Competing on Innovation: Disrupting the Education Enterprise to Build Tomorrow's Talent, Today

Published: 2016
  • Examines how businesses can rebuild their talent pipelines to ensure that they will have the employees needed to drive and support innovation.
  • Explores how employers are organizing to compete on innovation and how they can work with education partners to transform career preparation for America’s youth.
  • Highlight promising and emerging practices that demonstrate both the interest in and the viability of building innovation talent.
  • Discussion of how to scale innovation talent opportunities and the unique ability of the business community to lead the way.

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Talent Orchestrators: Scaling Youth Employment Through Business Facing Intermediaries

Published: 2016
  • Explores how employers and employer associations can leverage business-facing intermediaries as talent orchestrators to manage their human capital needs and scale youth employment efforts. 
  • A guide for how existing intermediaries can improve and scale in partnership with employers.
  • Defines business-facing intermediaries and introduces a set of design principles for how this group can serve as talent orchestrators.
  • Investigates how business-facing intermediaries are providing new opportunities for employers and business associations engaging in this space.

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The Path Forward: Forging Partnerships to Improve Education

Published: 2016
  • A guide for forging partnerships between employer and educator. 
  • Practical steps for identifying need and addressing challenges faced.
  • How to lay the initial groundwork and gain buy-in to develop a successful strategy.
  • A checklist for creating a partnership that includes collaboration, drive, and a mutual desire to achieve real and measureable outcomes. 

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Making Youth Employment Work: Essential Elements for a Successful Strategy

Published: 2015
  • About Making Youth Employment Work: An initiative about solving real-world business problems that help America's economy to grow, businesses to be competitive, and all students to have the opportunity for success.
  • Case Studies: National nonprofit organizations, thought leaders, and community-based programs seek opportunities to collaboratively identify and implement youth employment solutions. Our case studies are a repository of best practices and active partnerships for businesses and communities looking to build a robust youth talent pipeline.
  • Infographics: The data stories behind closing the skills gap and competing on talent in the new economy.

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