Business-Adult Education Partnerships Toolkit: Business Leaders

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  • Are you having trouble finding and retaining work-ready employees?
  • Do you need to lower training costs?
  • Are you looking to diversify your workforce?
  • Are you worried about your business or industry’s growth?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, consider engaging your local adult education providers to solve your talent needs! Adult education provides adult learners with foundational or basic skills in mathematics, literacy, reading comprehension, as well as personal effectiveness, or “soft” skills that are important for work readiness. Adult education may be delivered by multiple providers within an area including community colleges, adult schools, and other community-based organizations.

Benefits of Partnering with Adult Education Providers

Adult education providers can help you:

  • Improve your business’s bottom line by delivering no-cost work readiness and basic skills training tailored specifically to your business or industry to job-seeking adults 
  • Create work experience opportunities so that you and the adult learner can have hands-on experience with one another before hiring decisions are made 
  • Enhance your recruitment efforts by referring program graduates to help you meet your hiring goals 

Ways to Engage with Adult Education Providers

There are many ways you can partner with adult education providers, including:

  • Help develop workplace-relevant curriculum for adult basic education, career readiness skills, and pre-apprenticeship programs
  • Teach a course or present as a guest instructor 
  • Engage in career awareness activities such as company facility tours, mock job interviews, and presentations on opportunities within your business and industry
  • Create work-based learning opportunities like job shadowing and internships
  • Recruit for job openings from recent Adult Education program completers
  • Provide equipment or resources to deliver training tailored for a business or industry

How to Identify Potential Adult Education Providers

Each community organizes and administers adult education programs differently and courses may be delivered through a community college, high school, or community-based organization. The National Literacy Directory’s search engine can direct you to Adult Education providers in your area:

Tips for Implementing a Partnership with Adult Educators

Ideas to help ensure a successful and effective partnership include:

  • Contact your local Adult Education provider and explain that you need to hire X number of workers within Y timeframe and that you want help to build a pipeline of appropriate candidates for your company and industry
  • Ask, “How can we work together to help your students learn about jobs available in my industry?” 
  • Offer something in return, such as company tours, demonstrations, classroom visits, technical assistance for integrating industry-specific information into curriculum, and donations of tools and materials for use in classroom activities