Mary Kaye Bredeson

Engaging employers early on is an important strategy for workforce development programs. Employer engagement can work as a valuable approach for meeting workforce development goals. While there may be many reasons, employers and workforce programs depend on each other, collaborations and partnerships outweigh the challenges.

Workforce development is key in providing training programs that provide potential and existing workers with the skills employers are looking for. A skilled and talented workforce provides industry partners the competitive edge that is needed in the global marketplace.

Here are a few ways industry can engage with workforce development programs and their educational partners:

      • Leverage relationships with community partners to create an industry advisory board.
      • Provide employer engagement surveys to collect data regarding workforce needs and questions that answer the needed demand. Where are the jobs?
      • Invite employers to help with mock interviews and resume building. How do employers currently like to hire? What is useful for them, how can they connect best with training programs?
      • Collect business contact information and track engagement with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.
      • Make sure to share your results with employers letting them know that their time is used well, and this will lead to greater willingness to engage with future research projects, events, and other helpful ways that support workforce development.

It’s important to connect people to careers. That can start as early as elementary school, engaging with education partners at the middle, high school, and well into university programs. This kind of collaboration provides support and encouragement from our business partners and builds a lasting partnership that benefits all.

About: Mary Kaye Bredeson

As the Executive Director, Ms. Bredeson facilitates partnerships between industry and the state’s 34 community and technical colleges as well as other education and training providers. In her role, she encourages educational programs, sharing of industry best practices and resources, as well as providing a clear point of contact for industry employers to share their workforce needs.