Stories from Employers

Employers share their real-world stories about successful partnerships with educators, including best practices and facilitators, barriers, and how to eliminate those barriers.

Vignettes available here provide a peek inside the process by which successful partnerships have designed their programs and achieved their goals.

Success Story Submission—Do you have a success story to share? If so, please send it to us for inclusion on our website. See submission criteria here.

  • Southwire's 12 For Life

    Purpose: 12 For Life is a one of a kind program to help at-risk youth graduate from high school and make successful transitions to work and post-secondary education. Through contextualized work-based learning, a robust support system, and a paycheck, Southwire's 12 for Life program gives at-risk students a pathway to success by enabling them to complete 12 years of school while meeting Southwire's high production standards and filling the company's talent needs.
    About the Program: Southwire is a privately held wire and cable manufacturer headquartered in Georgia. The 12 for Life program allows students to combine a four-hour shift at a specially designed plant, with a work schedule built around their academic class requirements. At the 12 for Life plant, students rotate among workstations so they gain experience in the entire manufacturing process. They also earn two high school credits per semester. Materials the students manufacture wind up at large distributors across the country.
    Impact: 12 for Life has been successful for the students and for Southwire. For the company, 12 for Life is self-sustaining. The facility does some of the same work as Southwire's other plants, and productivity rates are high. The 12 for Life program is also a talent source: Southwire has hired 15 percent of the program graduates as full-time employees. The overall graduation rate in Carroll County has increased approximately 10 percent since the program began, while 39 percent of graduates have moved on to postsecondary education — a number Southwire considers very successful since 12 for Life participants are selected in part because they are likely to drop out of high school.

  • Models of Success

    Models of Success is an archive of case studies conducted under Skills for America's Future, an Aspen Institute initiative. Effective partnerships between businesses and community colleges are highlighted.

    Featured employers include Bison Gear & Engineering Corp., Gap Inc., IBM, Luminant, McDonalds, the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), and Snap-on.

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This website was developed by NOVA Research Company with assistance from the LINCS Technical Support Contract and funding from the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE), under Contract No. ED-VAE-14-O-5014. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent positions or policies of the U.S. Department of Education, and no official endorsement by the U.S. Department of Education should be inferred.