Building Effective Employer Relations

Building Effective Employer Relations

The Aspen Institute Workforce Strategies Initiative, 2004

Toolkit Purpose 

The goal of this brief is to help employment and training programs understand what their peers in the sectoral workforce development field already know: how to engage with employers. It offers tips on understanding for-profit culture and what to expect from a partnership.

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation and Ford Foundation
Intended Audience 
Employment and training programs at nonprofits and community colleges
Career Pathways Target Population 
Low-skill workers
Based On 
Interviews with 10 sectoral employment development programs and their employer partners.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

This resource prepares employment and training programs to establish mutually beneficial partnerships with employers by guiding them through the steps of:
- Choosing Employer Partners, which includes matching employer needs with program strengths, looking for employment practices that match program goals, and finding an employer who will dedicate resources;
- Structuring the Relationship to Create Shared Ownership, which includes engaging employers in program design and development, creating dynamic feedback loops, and embedding program staff within the employer; and
- Providing Services that are Valued by Businesses, which includes listening to and understanding the employer's culture and needs, being flexible and responsive, and demonstrating business benefits.

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