Career Pathways Initiative

Business and Education Partnerships Provide Skilled Talent for Employers

Posted by Andrala Walker - On December 15, 2011 (EST)

Business and Education Partnerships Provide Skills for American Workers


Corporate Voices for Working Families has released four new micro-business cases documenting the considerable benefits gained when employers, community colleges, and community organizations forge close partnerships to support working Americans. Model efforts like these are helping supply employers with the skilled talent they need, while creating promising career opportunities for Americans who urgently need them in a changing and challenging 21st-century economy.


The new profiles feature the efforts of three diverse employers who are building a talent pipeline of current and future employees.

  • AREVA, a global energy corporation, partners with Central Virginia Community College, on a training program through which employees pursue their higher education while working at the company.
  • Bright Horizons Family Solutions LLC, the world's top provider of employer-sponsored child care, early education, and work-life solutions, worked with an educational publishing company to develop an online training program through which employees earn the industry's benchmark child-development credential.
  • McDonald's, a leading global foodservice retailer, invests in executive talent development through its innovative Hamburger University (HU) and its network of regional training centers and HU campuses around the world.  McDonald's worked with the American Council on Education to gain credit recommendations for much of its training - making it one of only a dozen Fortune 500 companies to receive college credit for the training it provides its employees.  Moreover, through its alliance with some 15 higher education institutions, the company ensures that succesful HU students can translate their training into academic credits toward their associate or bachelor's degrees.

A fourth micro-business case spotlights the efforts of a popular retailer that is creating first-time training opportunities for disadvantaged youth:

  • Gap Inc., a leading global specialty retailer, partners with community organizations to support This Way Ahead, a program providing career exploration, job readiness training, and paid internships for young adults at Gap and Old Navy stores.

"Employer partnerships with community colleges and local organizations are playing a key role in providing the supports that today's working learners-often low-income young adults-need to gain valuable skills, pursue their education, and advance up the career ladder," said Donna Klein, Corporate Voices' Executive Chair and CEO.


The first three profiles, part of a series published within Corporate Voices' ongoing Learn & Earn initiative, are available online.


The Gap Inc. profile, also part of a series of best-practice micro-cases focused on Enterprising Pathways for underserved youth, may be found here.


Corporate Voices' Learn & Earn Initiative is made possible through the generous support of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Its Enterprising Pathways research is made possible with the generous support of New Options, a project of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

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Modified On : December 15, 2011
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