Way to Work: Partnering With Local Employers – NCCCS Conference

Posted on Updated on

8:30am Raleigh Convention Center, Raleigh NC. Rm. 303.
Presented by CPCC instructors Claudia L. Farnandez & Amy Galla


Way To Work: Partnering With Local Employers

This session started with a short discussion on getting a good idea of the

Student Recruitment

General Info Session and SIgn up flyers

Classroom Presentation




This class was 8wks of soft skill improvement, followed by 8wks of work-based learning.

Soft Skills

THis 8 weeks was a focus on WORKING SMART. Extra materials were available here, but really focused on pre-HS Degree needs. Several job-skill days were followed by Examples of work in the workplace

Its not always perfect, but its important to catch a system of meeting the student body needs in time. IN career and tech education, it is found that its hard to find employees who come to work on time, multitask, prioritise, wear their uniforms, prepared, able to communicate clearly, etc. to stand out.

WORKING SMART is set in 5 modules: Self awareness, self management, work ethics, communication,…

Work-based learning experience is set in 4 groups: Paid employment, internship, job shadow, volunteer. Why do students need those tiers and why should they show up in the workplace with this understanding

Timeline Sample

students learn
elibibility verified
discovery completed
-google doc shared with teachers to assure they are a good fit

1st 8-week begin working smart certficiation
-prepping for interview (mock, createe res, complete online forms, etc.)

– week 7-8 start interviews.

complete working smart certification
2nd 8 week begins internship
-getting instructor and recruiter, assessment specialist
-intercept issues with student to assure employers

follow up
-update resume, get references and reference lists

Partnership Development

Really sit down and think about how to establish and connect our students with businesses outside of the school. Pathways to employment process or internship setups? Here are students with certificates, traits, what they’ve learned, etc. Possible prior careers

Types of Partnerships

internal partners

Even though were are part of the college, bringing other elements into the fold can take time but can also be very fruitful.

  1. Marketing Departments– Marketing materials take time and important to get information correct. WE must reach partners in the community. If you have no connection to the exterior employers, starting from the inside out is an excellent way to get a solid start
  2. Workplace Learning– It is specialized for curriculum students, so its a smart idea to partner with this laready established entitiy. What kind of student are you TRYING to promote?
  3. Division Directors– In the discovery process, we find out what the dream job is for the student, and then if possible, get them in connection with the staff, faculty, or division directors who are related to this department


  1. DSS– Department of social services,
  2. YMCA– The YMCA outreach program was a great partner. Attending an event with the partner organization is a great way to make those exterior connections.
  3. CBO– COmmunity Based Organizations. You never know who can help.

student support Partners

Great place to encounter

  1. VR
  2. Single stop– one location to learn about the student services which are available to all students. Issues with food, shelter, etc., single stop is a great place to keep the students in classes and on target. THis in-school assistance has no connections that students might be embarassed about
  3. Crisis Assistance Ministry– Some students need assistance in ways which cannot be planned for. It might be power being cut off so they can stay focused, or a family situation in which the students may need counseling. A student may not be able to go to work if they cannot have power or cook food. Even a great student could fail without proper support.


Work-Based Learning Partners require special handling. WHo is the representative? What strategies do you have, or the school have for handling responsibilities? How can transportation or schedules handled? Will there be visits, followups, and what system is in the making before things become set in stone? Will the student conduct affect future possiblilities? How can we keep this under control to foster future opportunities?

The most important part here is to meet student needs and expectations to match with via employers. Will background issues such as criminal issues cause failures to work with their hopeful employers.

  1. Non-Profits– Non-profits are almost always in need of assistance. They work on volunteer bases but are manned by large organization volunteers as well and may open doors to future employment options.
  2. Businesses– Getting through to HR can be important as well as making connections to the students and the business locations
  3. Small Business– Small businesses often need help getting off the ground or getting to the next level. YOu will only get 1-2 placements.
  4. Large Organization– Large organizations have big, complex tasks which need ongoing or complex results.

For volunteering, it is very important that Non-Profits are the organizational label. A for-profit group cannot be a volunteering opportunity, and the DOL (department of Labor) does not consider this a viable action.

IN the business world, talking to management or others in business seems to be a preoccupation with their devices. Students are so used to connections with phones and email that communication cannot occur. Students fail to speak or stress importance within the workplace. For many students, the ability to send a coherent email seems laughable but is in fact an important part of the workplace life. It can make or break an organization just as much as it can make or break an employment opportunity.

Internship TImeline

  1. Partnership development – coordinator
  2. match student with WBL Opportunities
  3. Interview prep
  4. day of the intervies
  5. interview results
  6. begin WBL experience
  7. followup
  8. site visit
  9. internship mentor evaluation
  10. thank you notes

Going to these classes and this program give them confidence. They can be interviewed. THey can know the answers to the questions. THe feedback is positive, and the importance of the situation is clear. These are the types of connections which are needed in adult ed or standard programs


  1. start relationships with internal partners early
  2. comple all marketing materials prior to approaching potential work=based learning partners
  3. define your strategy to taget small business, non -r0fit prganizations or large organizations early in the project
  4. reach out for companies that already have a business relations hip with the college
  5. talk about possible partnership opportunities with people you know
    reach out to buseinesses around the campus(es)

All participants must prove that they can work in the US legally, although many internship or paid programs work on a “Don’t ask” policy.