Industry Connecting with Education
Amazing things are happening in Career and Technical Education classes across the nation! Chances are great things are happening in your district, at your school, probably even in your classroom. Students are learning and applying principles while completing projects that are shaping them to be prepared to contribute to industry in a valuable way.
Unfortunately, industry probably doesn’t know about your program.
That’s a problem.
Industry wants to be involved in shaping education. They want students entering the workforce to be prepared. Currently, one of industries’ biggest obstacles is finding qualified candidates. Candidates like the students that you are teaching right now. The problem is one of communication: industry and education don’t speak the same language.
They can learn, it’s pretty simple.
The first thing industry needs to know is what you’re teaching in the classroom. You can’t bring them into the classroom for a year of classes, so how do you distill what is happening in your classroom? You show them the standards.
Take those standards to your next advisory board meeting, hand them to industry partners and say: “This is what we teach our students, does this match what you’re looking for?” Let the conversation unfold from there. The most common response we hear is something along the lines of, “Wow, you’re teaching this in the high school?”
Then you can explore what the natural fit is: if a student brings these certificates do they get a preferred-interview status, a paid internship, a guaranteed job?
Connecting with industry benefits everyone. Students win when they see a direct outcome from the course they are taking. Educators win because they have more engaged students. Industry wins because they are finding quality employees. Win, Win, Win.