Develop a Talent-Ready Workforce!
Traditional workforce development with K-12 schools has been, for the most part, general outreach. Like speaking at school events, attending a career night, or something like, sending a company representatives to judge a student science or robotics competition. This is an insufficient connection with schools and students to make an impact and give them reason to consider working for your company, 3 to 5 or even 7+ years down the road.
The 10 steps to your Future Workforce program are outlined here.
Let's dive in to the fourth step, K-12 Future Workforce Partnership
K-12 Future Workforce Partnership
This is a long-term development program, starting in middle school - you'll need to form long-term relationships with K-12 schools.
Identify the schools in your geographic area that have programs or need programs to teach the skills you require. Identify schools that are low-income, underfunded or Title I and could really benefit from these programs.
Sponsor curriculum, materials and kits for skills development to spark student interest in specific career areas (e.g. Healthcare, STEM, Esports). We know if we don't engage students and inspire them early then the odds are they won't pursue these careers. Sponsor after school programs and teacher professional development to make sure teachers are trained and comfortable teaching these topics.
Continue your traditional outreach (e.g. speaking at school events), but amp it up. Have a program where your professionals talk about their career at your company, bring students on-site for tours, and create your own competitions. Work with the school Career & Technical Education (CTE) curriculum directors to find out their needs and help fill these gaps.
Provide work experience for students. CTE Programs offered by K-12 have a work experience requirement. Typically it is difficult for teachers to find work opportunities for students and they have to build community relationships to find work opportunities. You will be received with open arms if you bring work opportunities to their students. We'll talk more about an intern program in a later blog.
Commit to this program and K-12 partnership for the long-term. After all, if these students are in middle school, they may not work for your company for 4+ years.
Here is a great example of how Essentia Healthcare is developing high school student interest and skills in Healthcare!
In this series, we will dive in to each step and discuss how to implement this strategy and create a qualified workforce.