We recognize that one of the biggest challenges you face as an employer is workforce development. You want to secure the talent you need to meet customer demands, grow your business, and help your community thrive.

While there are many ways to address workforce issues, our focus at Golden Path is building connections between employers and high school students. We do this by partnering with schools and school professionals to provide meaningful career exploration opportunities for students that also lead to future employment. By helping students learn about careers in high school, they are better equipped to make decisions about their futures.

Let’s look at four ways school partnerships help drive career readiness:

Clarifying needed workforce skills

First, by connecting schools and employers, school professionals can hear firsthand what skills are needed in the future workforce. This is especially helpful for industries that aren’t well understood. Golden Path helps build connections that complement existing relationships, such as through Career and Technical Education (CTE) advisory groups. Interactions like these open opportunities where employers can share directly with teachers about desired workforce skills.

Supporting hands-on experiences in schools

Second, employer-school connections help fund critical equipment or school building needs, creating spaces and opportunities to help students in future careers. We’re seeing these investments in multiple communities, where strategic employers partner with schools on new CTE centers, curriculum, and equipment like 3D printers, robotics, and drones. Read about how Detroit Lakes (MN) High School is partnering with businesses to support hands-on career experiences and skill development.

Providing meaningful career exploration experiences

Third, Career Profiles and work-based learning (WBL) opportunities, both offered through our Compass platform, foster career readiness through real-world information and experiences. School professionals help students explore companies and careers through Career Profiles and then earn school credit for work-based learning experiences at those same companies.

As students share their work experiences in the classroom, it informs and excites other students. We’ve seen many examples where a student’s positive experience or interest leads to other students’ engagement. Higher engagement leads to better outcomes like learning valuable skills, improving graduation rates, and solidifying plans for after graduation.

Bridging the gap between education and industry

Finally, and most importantly, employer and school partnerships bridge the gap between education and industry. These partnerships create effective and natural ways of collaborating between two groups that are often siloed from each other. It’s about finding ways to understand each other’s perspectives and reaching solutions that benefit everyone involved.

Through these partnerships, school professionals learn what’s needed for the future workforce and how to connect students with employers. Employers also find successful ways to reach students, offer hands-on work experiences, manage and scale their student-focused programs, and influence classroom spaces and curricula. Ultimately, students graduate with more skills and knowledge to help them find their future paths. Everyone wins!

How can you partner with schools?

  1. Create a free Compass account and join the Connections Database. This provides your contact information to schools who will reach out regarding opportunities.
  2. Contact a work-based learning coordinator in your region and learn how you can connect with students through work-based learning. Use this list for all endorsed work-based learning coordinators in North Dakota and contact your region’s consortium office in Minnesota for assistance.
  3. Sponsor or participate in a career and technical student organization (CTSO) event. These organizations include DECA, FFA, Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and the Technology Student Association. You can learn more about opportunities near you by visiting your local school’s website.
  4. Reach out to us for help. Golden Path can help you define an overall strategy of connecting with students and schools, help you understand what works or doesn’t work when working with students, and provide options on how to highlight your organization, careers, and incentives through Compass. Whether you just want to highlight a specific career or build a comprehensive strategy for workforce development, we can help!

Build your future workforce today. Let Golden Path Solutions connect you with schools and students. Contact us at patrick@goldenpath.net.