Written by: Shannon Snow
Recently, Snow Consulting Services was retained by a client to conduct some case studies on how the business community influences education. This client was looking for opportunities to increase the impact of education without requiring additional resources – hence do more with less.
During the process we identified several valuable lessons that can be considered when developing workforce partnerships between industry and education – lessons that we are excited to share with you.
Bright Horizons: Corporate Developed Curriculum
The Child Development Associate (CDA) credential has been around for decades, but in 2007 the eCDA program at Bright Horizons University was established. Much of the curriculum development and delivery systems were created by Bright Horizons through utilization of external consultants and specialists, and then made available to educational partners. Bright Horizons has taken the burden of program development off the service provider and expanded the availability of quality, early childhood development education nationally.
Northampton Community College is Bright Horizon’s preferred educational partner. They have created a stackable credential leading to an Associate’s degree that recognizes Bright Horizon’s internal training, allowing them to deliver online education to Bright Horizon’s employees nationally.
- Industry driven and developed programming can be adapted to educational credentials.
- Letting industry lead streamlines the development of skills-based curriculum.
- Businesses can standardize curriculum nationally, utilizing their network to create educational standards.
Western Association of Food Chains: Workforce Based Competency Identification
Retail leaders shared a concern over lacking skills in the current workforce. They recognized a need for increased education for management level employees. As a group, with the help of an industrial psychologist, they developed the core competencies essential for success as a manager in the retail space.
This group reached out to local community colleges to partner in the creation of an online curriculum for the Retail Management Certificate. A different model, the group partners with colleges nationally instead of one preferred educational provider. Their commitment to excellence and career advancement led to industry changes.
- Industry can lead by identifying competencies and leaning on educational providers for coursework development.
- Valuing educational credentials can lead to an expectation of better skills within industry.
Health Careers Collaborative or Greater Cincinnati (HCC): Employer Support Equals Student Success
HCC was developed under the umbrellas of Partners for a Competitive Workforce, an effort of the Greater Cincinnati workforce network that brings all the area’s workforce initiatives together. HCC developed partnerships, that serve frontline incumbent workers from area hospitals along with jobseekers and unemployed/underemployed individuals.
Employer commitment and flexibility are key to the success of this program. Participants enjoy flexible work hours, funding and pre- payment options, support services such as childcare and transportation are provided, credits are transferable between institutions and more. Developmental education is also provided to participants if needed.
- Marrying workforce development efforts, employer needs, and educational initiatives can have a powerful impact when all partners are invested in the success of the program.
- Employer engagement and willingness to establish a flexible work environment allow more individuals to access training.
- Understanding of needs for developmental education in addition to industry required credentials increases student success.
Shannon Snow is the Principal at Snow Consulting Services. She is a licensed City Planner who focuses in facilities planning and operational support. She has over a decade of professional experieEnce and founded Snow Consulting Services in 2016.