The following are brief descriptions of different types of business-adult education partnerships that illustrate the many opportunities for collaboration. The models are organized into three categories: Expanding the Employee Pipeline, Corporate Philanthropy in the Community, and Making Connections through Intermediaries, and each contains examples of collaboration between businesses and adult education organizations and recommended tools and resources. Because businesses may play multiple roles in partnership with adult education programs, some businesses are included in more than one model.
Expanding the Employee Pipeline Models
One important reason for businesses to develop partnerships with adult education organizations is to strengthen the skills of their workforce. Adult education providers can help with preemployment training and referrals. They also can offer workplace education programs for employers who want to improve the skills of their incumbent workforce.
Corporate Philanthropy in the Community Models
Corporate philanthropy is another reason businesses form partnerships with adult literacy organizations. Some businesses match their business functions or expertise with a compatible community organization. Others may want to bolster their reputation in the community by supporting a good cause. Employee volunteer programs also are a popular way to support the community. Additional approaches include helping programs build their capacity or funding program initiatives.
Making Connections Through Intermediaries Models
Whether your goal is to improve the skills of your incoming and incumbent employees or to support a good cause, intermediaries, such as employer associations, chambers of commerce, and literacy coalitions can help your business connect with community organizations. The broad reach of these intermediaries makes it easy for businesses to find appropriate community partners for both pipeline and philanthropy purposes.