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Corporate-School Partnerships


Whenever the economy suffers, younger workers often experience higher unemployment rates, because they lack the experience necessary to obtain a position. However, smart companies will look at this time as an opportunity to forge relationships with educational institutions and gain access to a population eager to learn and willing to work.{{more}}

Business and school partnerships are not new, but schools and businesses have become accustomed to the traditional definition of asking for and receiving sponsorship dollars for activities. Businesses should begin to see their role as much more and actively look for ways to build a pipeline of future workers.

Let’s look at a few ways businesses can engage young people to think about their future careers while still in school.

1. Hold career panels. Many students have no idea what kind of careers are available to them beyond doctor, lawyer, nurse or policeman. If a student only sees a few career options visible around them and they have limited or no other opportunities to see other careers in action, they will eventually become what they are familiar with.

2. Hold a job shadow day. Hold a National Job Shadow day, when parents can bring their children to work. Employees without young ones can still make themselves available to other children with an interest in their field.

3. Offer vacation internships. Students who have demonstrated an interest in a particular field should be able to compete for internships within that field.

4. Offer prizes to younger students for things like perfect attendance or timely arrivals, as these are important values as an employee.

5. Allow employees in the school. Whether it is reading to the younger students or being a guest speaker for the older students, companies should see this as an opportunity to build the next generation of workers.

There are those who may believe that the emphasis should be on academics and, yes, that is true. However, schools are supposed to prepare students for life and a major part of life is working, yet the majority of schools emphasize proficiency in taking tests, instead of offering a well-rounded approach to education.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to
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