June 20, 2017
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation released a new report today, “Learning to Work, Working to Learn,” an examination of experiential learning programs highlighting best practices for employer engagement in education partnerships. The report, which is based on case studies of ten existing institutional partnerships across the U.S., set out to consider what partnerships between businesses and higher education can do to set students up for success, enabling them to complete degree programs that lead to promising careers.
It offers four key takeaways for employers:
- Focus on ROI. Incorporating career-specific know-how into traditional curriculum empowers both students and employers.
- Be transparent. Stakeholders on both sides of a business-education partnership should create clear goals and responsibilities.
- Be intentional about competencies and link experiences to career pathways. Students can then easily translate their experiences into skills that lead to success in the workforce.
- Involve small companies. Though they may not have the same bandwidth to offer a multitude of opportunities, their engagement is valuable.
“A student’s path to a meaningful and successful career can often wind through several education programs and a sea of rapidly changing job prospects. But with early input from the business community about what happens on other side of the degree, both students and employers can find more value in the career development process,” said Cheryl Oldham, senior vice president for the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s Center for Education and Workforce. “We hope that this report can be a resource for employers at a critical point in the discussion about work-based learning. As the business community seizes on new opportunities to engage, these lessons can give them a head start.”
In 2016, the U.S. Chamber Foundation partnered with the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and Gallup to unveil Launch My Career, a consumer information website that provides program-level data on degree outcomes for students and working adults. The tool is designed to highlight in-demand jobs available in specific regions or states, as well as to highlight solid educational pathways to those jobs. The Launch My Career tool is currently available in Colorado, Tennessee, and Texas, and it will be released in Florida in the fall.
The report was released during the national Launch My Career event in Washington, D.C.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.