These activities should be completed collaboratively by faculty and administrators.
Using the Employer Engagement Worksheet developed in the Knowing Your Audience module, work with other departments and divisions at your college to determine which employers are connected to more than one program. (Remember that many employers hire workers whose specializations are different from the primary focus of the companies they work for. For example, manufacturers, hospitals, and municipalities all hire IT, accounting, and/or business management graduates.)
Use this list to cross-reference the college’s best-connected employers. These are the employers who understand the value of your college on a broader level.
Work with your college’s IT department to determine how to create a simple Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to track college-wide employer engagement.
Identify employers in your area who hold leadership positions in their industries. (This would be the case if, for example, they serve as officers of industry associations.) This can often be found on the “Who We Are” or “About Us” pages of corporate websites. Research senior leadership on LinkedIn for more information.
Use the information gathered in Activity 2 to:
- Initiate conversations at the CEO and college president level to discuss ways your college could benefit from the employer’s voice at local, state, and national forums.
- Brainstorm the initiatives your employers are passionate about and determine whether there are intersections where your college can assist them and they can assist you. Technical skills training and apprenticeships, for example, are areas where the interests and activities of colleges and employers naturally intersect.
- Increased involvement by employers bringing their networks to your college
- Increased partnership opportunities for new program development and support