When it comes to preparing students for life after high school, creating a pool of qualified employees and closing the skills gap, industry and education need to work together.
There are many ways business leaders can participate in education, including:
- Mentor student talent through on-the-job training, apprenticeships and similar opportunities.
- Offer apprenticeships or internships for high school students.
- Speak in classes and at assemblies.
- Organize job fairs, career days and mock interviews.
- Support the development of certification exams to ensure industry needs are part of each curriculum.
- Recognize and hire students with the certifications you need for your roles.
- Actively create awareness with future talent.
Business leaders know what talent and skills they need. With that knowledge, who better to lead, mold and shape the future workforce?
By taking part in any of the above-mentioned activities, employers bring relevance to education by providing hands-on experience, pertinent knowledge and career exposure for students, while building a pipeline of qualified future talent.
How one company benefits from being involved in education
Whitaker Construction in Midvale, Utah gets involved in education by providing internships and entry-level positions to high school students who meet their job needs. Jake Hinckley, director of workforce development and training for Whitaker, told YouScience about a student who, after his presentation at a local high school, asked for an internship in accounting. Jake checked with the accounting department and sure enough, they were happy to oblige.
Jake says, “People don’t realize that we have our field positions, but we also have all of our office positions. And so, here’s this young woman who comes out for her last semester of her high school career and she’s able to test the waters in accounting. It has expanded her horizons on what accounting is all about. We put her on special projects, and, in fact, she just graduated.
“She’s starting her accounting degree at the local university, and we wanted to keep her on. We just met and extended an additional offer for her to stay on as a college intern, which is what we’re calling her. And we’re going to keep working with her. We want to keep her, simple as that. We were able to find her as a senior in high school, and we already see potential with her in our company.”
“We want to keep her, simple as that. We were able to find her as a senior in high school, and we already see potential with her in our company.”
— Jake Hinckley, director of workforce development and training, Whitaker Construction
The internship let the student experience the possibilities in accounting, gave her the experience to solidify her career choice. And, in the end, Whitaker Construction gained a valued member for its team. Connecting with students early, benefits employers
While internships, presentations and interactions with students at local schools are great ways to pique interest and find qualified hires, Employer Connections is another.
Employer Connections is an online platform that puts employers in front of skilled, best-fit local talent for current openings as well as their future talent pipelines.
It starts when students take a YouScience Discovery aptitude assessment and earn certifications through Precision Exams by YouScience when applicable. In the Opportunities section of their YouScience Discovery accounts, students see participating employers whose current and future needs align with their aptitudes, interests, career matches and certifications.
Employers build brand awareness with students certified and/or naturally wired to perform well in the very jobs they have available today. And they create mindshare with the talent they’ll need in the future. Talent who may have never known they existed or considered working for them.
Employers don’t have to hunt for candidates. Skilled candidates with the right aptitudes to perform well find best-fit employers and links to employers’ websites in YouScience Discovery instead. All an employer needs to do is register for free, enter a little information and upload a logo.
It’s a unique, easy way for companies to get in front of the best-fit skilled talent they need today and build a pipeline of future talent pipeline.
About Employer Connections, Jake Hinckley shared, “So, Employer Connections was super easy to sign up for. We were contacted by our YouScience representative. We were able to go through and walk through that process very easy. Super excited about it. And it’s going to give us access to all these top tier students who are in there. And that’s one of the things that what we really need is quick access to where these students are, which this program provides.”
A win-win for students and local businesses.
How aptitudes tie in
Performance measures of aptitude are powerful in helping students and educators define the right education pathways for college as well as career pathways.
Aptitude testing is different from interest and personality surveys in that it uncovers a student’s innate talents and abilities.
YouScience Discovery is an aptitude assessment used in middle and high schools to reveal a student’s strengths, aptitudes and interests.
Through a series of science-based brain-game like exercises, students discover their individual aptitudes. Each student who takes YouScience Discovery sees which of more than 500 in-demand, real-world careers from O*NET OnLine, the nation’s primary source of occupational information, align to their specific talents and interests or both.
The student/employer connection
For employers, connecting to students matched to their best career pathways answers the question, “Does this person have the ability to do the job?”
Jessica Browning, director of college counseling at Carolina Day School says, “We’ve chosen YouScience [Discovery] as the main career-related assessment for our students because it uses really accurate information in terms of measuring students’ strengths and connecting them to careers where they might align.”
Students find employers based on their aptitudes uncovered by Discovery. When Discovery is used in area schools, employers can be confident that students applying for roles have the right aptitudes and, if applicable, certifications for the job.
And having employers advocate for the use of YouScience Discovery in local schools is just as important as having education do so.
Lorraine Holeman, regional career specialist in Greenville County Schools in South Carolina says, “When you have an assessment that shows you have an aptitude and interest in a skill that has great earning potential for advanced manufacturing [or any local industry] in a community, that just helps skilled trades in local economies.”
Industry input can change education
The way to revolutionize education and meet the ever-changing needs of communities is to get industry leaders, business owners and local manufacturers involved with education.
Aptitudes coupled with industry-recognized certifications provide employers with a future talent pool more qualified than ever before. Communities, commerce and local business flourish when industry leaders take part in keeping education relevant.
Ready to build your future talent pipeline?
Talk to us how Employer Connections can put your company in front of skilled, best-fit local talent for current openings as well as your future talent pipeline.