Engaging Employers to Support Adult Career Pathways Programs
Employer engagement in Adult Career Pathways (ACP) programs can strengthen the efforts of adult educators to help learners attain secondary credentials, transition to postsecondary programs, achieve industry credentials, and secure family-sustaining employment. Whether employer contributions result in the development of workplace relevant curriculum, career awareness activities, work-based learning opportunities, or in-kind support for equipment and other resources, employer engagement is essential for ACP programs. Employers can help ensure programs are responsive to the needs of local industry, while providing adult learners the relevant workplace context and foundational skills they must master to succeed along a career pathway. Interfacing with adult learners in the classroom on a daily basis, teachers are well positioned to work with employers toward the goal of translating workplace skills into learning objectives that can be taught within a career pathways context. This brief offers practical strategies on engaging employers and building business-education partnerships to support ACP programs, and highlights promising examples from adult education providers in three states.
This issue brief is intended to help adult career pathways programs engage employers to ensure responsivity to the needs of local industry, while providing adult learners with the relevant workplace context and foundational skills they must master to succeed along a career pathway. The brief highlights the experiences of three states, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Illinois, in engaging employers at the state and local levels.