What Are Next Gen Sector Partnerships?
Next Generation Sector Partnerships are partnerships of businesses, from the same industry and in a shared labor market region, who work with education, workforce development, economic development and community organizations to address the workforce and other competitiveness needs of the targeted industry.
Now is the time! Community partners across the nation are facing increased pressure to engage industry more deeply:
Secondary and post-secondary educational institutions are being called to engage with industry and align their curriculum and programming in new innovative ways.
Workforce Investment Boards are being called upon to increase partnerships with industry through sector partnerships in the new federal legislation (WIOA).
Economic development organizations are experiencing a renewed interest in talent and skills as keys to economic vitality.
Key Features of Next Gen Sector Partnerships
Industry-led. Agendas are based on industry-determined priorities, not public programs.
Community-supported. Public partners from workforce development, economic development, education and others work together to convene and support Next Gen Sector Partnerships.
Sustainable over time. Since Next Gen Sector Partnerships are organized around the topic that interests business leaders most--what it takes to ensure that their company thrives--they are sustainable over time.
Next Gen Partnerships Show Impact
Over fifty next gen partnerships exist across the country, with concentrations of them in states like Colorado, California, Oregon, and Arizona; more emerging in states like Montana, Texas, Hawaii and Louisiana; and increasing interest from at least a half dozen other states.
The Gallatin Valley Manufacturing Partnership in Bozeman, Montana is designing a 9-day manufacturing curriculum module to be offered in local high schools throughout the region. The curriculum was developed by a team of manufacturers working with education partners and will be taught by guest instructors from regional manufacturing companies. It includes guest speakers, field trips to local manufacturing companies, and classes offered by Gallatin Community College.
The Phoenix Advanced Business Services Sector Partnership has created an industry-led speakers bureau to promote career opportunities in the industry among students, parents, and career advisors.To date, the Partnership has arranged for speakers to attend events for students, jobseekers, and career advisors with parter organizations throughout Phoenix.
The East Bay Advanced Manufacturing Partnership in California created a customized education pathway for their top critical occupations, which quickly became the common framework for multiple high schools, junior colleges and the Workforce Board to align curriculum.
A new Northeast Louisiana Healthcare Partnership has engaged nearly forty healthcare organizations (large hospitals and small rural clinics) in building a real career pathway system that improves advancement from CNA to LPN, including new certificate add-ons along the way. This partnership is also developing process and legal agreements for an acute care network that allows large hospitals to use under-utilized bed space and skilled nursing staff in rural hospitals.
The Kingman and Mohave Manufacturers Association in Arizona created a freight sharing program that allowed for regional manufacturers to coordinate shipments, saving on transportation costs. Member manufacturers also helped create a shared training space in a member company's facility, co-funded a mobile training unit for upskilling existing workers in rural manufacturing facilities, and significantly expanded existing manufacturing-related apprenticeships.
The Lane County Technology Collaborative, a sector partnership convened by the local workforce board in Eugene, Oregon, brings together over thirty technology companies to collectively tackle shared issue areas. In its first six months, the Collaborative successfully secured a direct flight from Eugene to Silicon Valley. Members cite this as a powerful early win that allowed them to get to the harder issues at stake: improving technology education in the K-12 system, and creating a new computer science curriculum in local colleges.
Where states have adopted strategies that help create strong, local sector partnerships, results are magnified. In Colorado:
82% of partnerships have businesses that have developed new or enhanced ideas for new products and/or markets
91% of partnerships have businesses that have found support in finding employees with the skills and experiences their business needs
82% of partnerships have businesses that have developed new recruitment practices
Students and jobseeker
71% of partnerships increased student/jobseeker awareness of training/education programs.
62% of partnerships experienced increased program alignment across secondary, post-secondary, and/or workforce programming.
67% of partnerships enhanced existing or developed new training/education program(s).