Lessons Learned: Business & Industry Training

Lessons Learned: Business & Industry Training

Workforce Training, business/industry partnerships
  • Workforce Training
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Colorado Community College System (CO)
http://www.cccs.edu/

The Colorado Community College System, Colorado’s largest higher education system, oversees instructional programs at 13 colleges and career/technical programs in school districts/other public post-secondary institutions.

  • Institutions
  • Systems

PURPOSE

The Governor’s Office asked the State Board for Colorado Community Colleges and Occupational Education to review and evaluate the continued collaborative relationships between community colleges and industry to ensure a prepared high‐skilled, high‐demand Colorado workforce with an emphasis on:

  • Continuing to identify promising practices in creating, developing and administering programs directed to businesses short‐term training needs;
  • Continuing to identify training delivery methods to better meet the needs of businesses and workers. The attached document shares the findings from the project & presents tools developed to ensure quality partnerships with local business and industry.
  • Illustrate each of the interactions required as consistent elements of all successful business/industry partnerships with the community college.

  • Describe the factors, from the perspective of community business and industry agents, which make‐up the value of partnership with the community college.

DESCRIPTION

The Colorado Governor’s Jobs Cabinet concluded that to improve workforce quality and better meet the needs of businesses currently and into the future, Colorado needs a proactive strategy that includes, “a combination of existing workforce investment boards (WIBs), a more focused outreach to business, enhanced electronic systems and continued emphasis on Colorado’s P‐20 educational system, especially our community colleges.” A recommendation of the Jobs Cabinet report was for the State Board for Colorado Community Colleges and Occupational Education to review and evaluate the continued collaborative relationships between community colleges and industry to ensure a prepared high‐skilled, high‐demand Colorado workforce with an emphasis on:

  • Continuing to identify promising practices in creating, developing and administering programs directed to businesses short‐term training needs;
  • Continuing to identify training delivery methods to better meet the needs of businesses and workers. The project, Lessons Learned: Business & Industry Partnerships, was to conduct a series of focus groups to determine how well partnerships are working between local business and industry and the colleges. Specifically, the project explored areas such as: • Partnerships developed with the colleges • Components of the partnerships that worked well • Roadblocks to successful fruition of the partnerships • Benefits of the partnerships for college, business/industry and community. • Strategies for continuing additional partnerships. The attached report shares the process used and the outcomes of the project including the design of two important tools that can be used to improve business/industry training at any institution.

1. Composition of business/industry focus groups and findings

2. The B & I Partnership Waterfall: An illustration of the interactions that focus group participants described as consistent elements of the partnership with the community college. Beginning with discovery of the college and/or program and progressing through the development of the relationship, this framework illustrates each of the points at which the college might excel or find opportunity for improvement in their ability to offer and communicate valuable partnership opportunities. The waterfall also identifies critical elements, or descriptors, of each point of interaction in the partnership. The waterfall , created using the focus group data, includes eight points of contact and an additional overarching point of contact that may arise at any point during the course of the relationship. The major points of contact are as follow:

  • Program/College Discovery
  • Course Choice or Curriculum Design
  • Funding
  • Enrollment
  • Payment of Tuition and Fees
  • Course Attendance
  • Training Outcome
  • Scheduling Future Courses/Training
  • The overarching contact point

3. The Partnership Attribute Tree: Describes the factors, from the perspective of community business and industry agents, which make‐up the value of partnership with the community college. The attributes have been derived from the qualitative data collected during the focus groups, according to the description that participants gave of the factors that influence their decision‐making. A quantitative analysis of the data was also completed which allows the attributes to be described in terms of their importance relative to each other.

  • Improved business/industry satisfaction with community college partnerships

The project was designed to evaluate community college and business/industry partnerships & to recommend improvement strategies. Institutions may benefit from the following available information:

  1. Project Elements
  2. Focus Group Findings
  3. Attributes of Business and Industry Partnerships
  4. Framework for the Anatomy of Partnership with Business and Industry
  5. Issues and Concerns
  6. Identified CCCS Best Practices
  7. Process‐level Recommendations
  8. Practice‐level Recommendations
  9. Focus Group Procedure and Script
  10. Community College Survey
1. Several community colleges redesigned their customized training/workforce divisions.2. The presidents job description was expanded

RESOURCES AND LESSONS LEARNED

No additional resources are required as long as the institution has an individual who can conduct & analyze the business/industry focus groups. Implementation of other components did not require additional resources.

  • No Additional Cost Required

  • Reflection on the Partnership Waterfall revealed three key steps that are consistently not meeting the needs of business and industry. They are the first three Waterfall steps: Program Discovery, Course Selection/Curriculum Design, and Funding.

  • To maintain successful partnerships with business/ industry outreach must be a formal duty of the college president

A follow up will be conducted with the focus group participants to measure improvements in community college responsiveness to business/industry needs.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

http://www.cccs.edu/Docs/Research/LessonsLearnedFromBusinessAndIndustryPartnerships.pdf

Geri Anderson
Vice President and Provost
Colorado Community College System
9101 E. Lowry Blvd.
Denver, Colorado 80234
Phone: 720-858-2747

geri.anderson@cccs.edu

Geri Anderson
Vice President and Provost
Colorado Community College System
Phone: 720-858-2747

geri.anderson@cccs.edu