According to Harvard Business Review, while the unemployment rate is lowest it has been in the past 15 years, 6.7 million Americans are still without jobs. However, the U.S. Department of Labor says there are currently 6.3 million job openings, and companies are struggling to find talent to fill those positions.
To solve that problem, companies are establishing partnerships with higher education institutions; once a company evaluates its human capital needs and job requirements, they “collaborate with schools to produce workers with the needed skills,” Harvard Business Review says.
Where Partnerships Have Worked:
Lake Area Technical Institute (LATI) – This school offers 30 two-year programs for its 2,000-plus students, many of which are customized to companies’ needs. “For instance, a curriculum designed for a local manufacturer of medical supplies and food safety products includes several courses in electronics, welding, lean, torque certification, robotics/programmable logic controllers, precision machining, and management,” Harvard Business Review says.
Additionally, 74 percent of first-time, fulltime students graduate/transfer to a four-year college within three years, and 99 percent find a job after graduating; many of these students have higher average earnings, too.
Georgia Tech – The institution has received over $1 million from AT&T over the past year to help fund one of its online master’s programs.
This partnership, however, isn’t new to Georgia Tech. “We actually have decades-old relationships with various companies,” Nelson Baker, the school’s dean of professional education, told Harvard Business Review. “In fact, Georgia Tech has been involved in business/education partnerships for over 100 years. We were founded in 1885, to work with industry, and that is still a core mission for Georgia Tech.”
Quincy College – For the past several years, the college has been working with Shire, a local biotech company. Shire gives Quincy College financial support, equipment, supplies, and more. Through a symbiotic exchange, Quincy graduates with a biotech background go to work for the company.
“Our grads are not only being hired by Shire, which now has about 15 of them, but also other biotech companies in the region,” Bruce Van Dyke, chair of Quincy College’s Biotechnology and Good Manufacturing Practice program, told Harvard Business Review. “Beyond this, we also provide specialized training to those already working in the field.”