Business Engagement in Education, Key Partners for Improving Student Success

Last month, the United States Chamber of Commerce and College Summit, an education nonprofit group, announced the release of a new report: “Business Engagement in Education, Key Partners for Improving Student Success.” The report focuses on the large number of students who do not graduate from high school and do not graduate college and career ready. The report emphasizes business partnerships as a key way that this trend can be reversed. The report, which is targeted towards businesses, explains from a historical perspective why business should be concerned with the lack of college and career ready graduates. Historically, American business has benefited from access a large pool of highly skilled workers. However, in recent years companies have struggled to find graduates with the skills necessary for many open positions. According to the report, businesses are concerned that education and skill training are “weakening at a time when their reliance on young people to fill the shoes of retiring baby boomers is growing.” The authors go on to claim that the skills gap is proof “that schools working on their own can no longer meet the increasingly complex learning needs of their students.” They suggest increased participation by the business community in education to help improve student outcomes. The report highlights three key areas in which businesses can support education:

  • “providing funding for learning materials and technology to improve the delivery of education and learning support services;
  • teaming with educators to define and implement core competencies that students will need to perform well in college and career; and
  • leading experiential learning experiences for students that connect the classroom with the real world of an office, a research lab, or a factory floor.”

The report goes on to highlight multiple models, such as Johnson and Johnson’s Bridge to Employment initiative and Amgen’s Amgen-Bruce Wallace Biotechnology Lab, as examples of successful school and business partnerships. Video of Senator Marco Rubio’s keynote address during the release of the report is also available on the Chamber of Commerce’s page.

Note: This blog post was originally authored under the auspices of the National High School Center at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The National High School Center’s blog, High School Matters, which ran until March 2013, provided an objective perspective on the latest research, issues, and events that affected high school improvement. The CCRS Center plans to continue relevant work originally developed under the National High School Center grant. National High School Center blog posts that pertain to CCRS Center issues are included on this website as a resource to our stakeholders.

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