Employer Partnerships With Education Providers

Last Updated: Spring 2023

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Employers and education providers collaborate to ensure a learn-to-work pipeline by offering training, credentials, and worked-based learning opportunities. Specific industries partner with educational institutions to ensure that curriculum aligns with industry standards and available jobs. Nonprofit organizations partner with education providers and employers to match students with learn-and-work opportunities (Jobs for the Future, n.d.-a; Tobenkin, n.d.). Both employers and education providers have an interest in making sure that students gain the necessary knowledge and skills to successfully enter the labor market.

Relationship to the Ecosystem

Employer and nonprofit partnerships with education providers pave the way for students—particularly those from populations who are typically underserved—to obtain training and earn credentials that will prepare them for success in the learn-and-work ecosystem.


  • Talent Hubs are an example of multiple sectors in a community partnering to ensure that all postsecondary students receive a credential—students who enter college out of high school, those who have education beyond high school but no credential, and individuals with no recognized learning beyond high school (Lumina Foundation, n.d.).
  • Individual companies partner with educational providers to offer training and credentials. Google works with Jobs for the Future—a nonprofit organization that helps low-income people get the skills and credentials needed to secure a good job (Jobs for the Future, n.d.-c)—to offer their credential at community colleges (Zinshteyn, 2020).
  • John Deere partners with Lake Land College in Illinois to offer the John Deere TECH program, which is designed to advance the skill levels of new John Deere service technicians. The program combines theory with hands-on lab experience. It also gives participants an opportunity to apply their knowledge through a paid Supervised Occupational Experience (SOE) at John Deere dealerships. After completing the two-year program, students are awarded an Associate in Applied Science degree, with the opportunity to earn other relevant certifications (Lake Land College, n.d.).
  • The Rush Education and Career Hub (REACH), a program housed within Rush University and Medical Center in Chicago, has a longstanding relationship with Malcolm X College. REACH and Malcolm X work together to offer training and credential opportunities for a variety of roles in the health care field. REACH also works closely with Rush’s human resource office to recruit and place youth in internships, as well as to offer work-based learning for postsecondary clinical credit (Jobs for the Future, n.d.-b).


Jobs for the Future. (n.d.-a). Hypothesis: Employer partnerships.


Jobs for the Future. (n.d.-b). Hypothesis: Postsecondary partnerships.


Jobs for the Future. (n.d.-c). Who we are. https://www.jff.org/about/

Lake Land College. (n.d.). John Deere TECH.


Lumina Foundation. (n.d.). Talent Hubs.


Tobenkin, D. (n.d.). Employers partner with community colleges to fill the talent pipeline. SHRM.


Zinshteyn, M. (2020, March 9). Community colleges work with Google to offer tech training.

U.S. News & World Report. https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2020-03-09/community-colleges-offer-google-it-certificate

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