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Toolkit for Districts to Build Industry Partnerships

Build relationships and partnerships with local businesses in your community to increase opportunities for students and bolster workforce development.

SchooLinks Staff
SchooLinks Staff

Mar 22, 2022

Strong partnerships between schools and local businesses can have incredible benefits for students, educators, and companies. Industry partnerships provide students with unique learning opportunities, educators with additional support, and businesses with an active role in workforce development and community culture. 

For students, industry partnerships provide hands-on experiences and real world learning. Many students thrive with immersive and active learning opportunities that are possible as a result of these partnerships and have increased motivation when they are able to connect what they are learning with real-world implementation. These opportunities allow students to deeply explore possible career choices and make informed postsecondary decisions. And, they build students’ employability skills and connect them with networks of professionals that can be beneficial both while in high school and beyond. 

For educators, industry partnerships provide access to an array of resources that deepen and enrich the learning experiences they are able to provide for their students. From career speakers, to volunteers, to opportunities for tours, to financial support, business partners can provide unique perspectives, expertise, and resources that extend the learning within the classroom. 

For businesses, industry partnerships provide important connections to the community. These relationships allow businesses to help local schools and districts identify career readiness needs specific to the local economy and be active participants in community-wide workforce development efforts, ensuring skilled workers for their businesses. These partnerships also build a sense of goodwill toward the business from community members, often increasing their customer base and loyalty from families and educators. 

In short, the entire community benefits when there are strong connections between schools and businesses. Learning is more relevant and personalized to local needs. Educators are connected to a supportive network of industry experts. And, businesses, local economies, and communities flourish.  

While industry partnerships bring immense value to schools and districts, initiating these partnerships can be daunting for educators. Use this toolkit to help guide this process–to identify potential partners, create effective structures, initiate outreach, and celebrate collaboration and success.

 


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