ERIC Number: ED314106
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989
Ways in Which Vocational Education and Postsecondary Institutions Can Establish Effective Linkages with Employers.
Gordon, Howard R.
In the 1980's, changes occurring in the American economy stimulated interest in collaboration between vocational education and the private sector. Several studies collected data from educational institutions and employers to identify motives for participating in collaborative arrangements. A 1988 study found that businesses seek cooperative relationships with higher education to obtain expert advice from faculty, gain access to qualified graduates, upgrade the training of employees, and take advantage of federally sponsored research, while educational institutions sought to improve their financial situations and the quality of instruction and research. A 1989 study revealed that: (1) slightly more than one-third of all employers surveyed were actively involved with postsecondary occupational education; (2) the most common modes of involvement were recruitment of employees, advisory committee memberships, and cooperative programs or internships; (3) incentives for participation were the ability to identify a source of potential employees, provide expertise on the education and training process, and improve the productivity of current employees; and (4) while employers indicated that the inflexibility of postsecondary institutions, their perceived disinterest in employers' advice, and time constraints were major barriers to involvement, educational institutions felt that "image" was a major barrier to involvement. Such findings suggest that vocational education institutions should: be aware of the specific needs of the economy; establish alumni committees to solicit information from former students with job market experience; use advisory committees to form bridges to employers; form planning commissions to promote constructive dialogue among public and private sector employees, unions, and educational organizations; and implement carefully structured internship programs. (JMC)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Florida Community Coll., Jacksonville.