Provides tools, as well as detailed instructions for how to use them, that may help workforce development professionals engage employers around offering training and work experience to teens and young adults.

“This guide is designed around a strategic employer engagement model to help workforce development professionals in their efforts to increase the number and quality of training and employment experiences available to teens and young adults—a segment of the population that often struggles to find their place in the work world” (p.4). It provides practitioners with tools they can use.

The authors note that the guide uses the “strategic employer engagement” model because, “Employers must make a substantial commitment of money and/or time, and it can be a challenge for employers to make youth employment initiatives fit into their workplaces. For workforce development professionals, recognizing the complexity of the commitment we ask employers to make - and thinking strategically about how to help employers make it--is an important first step to building…relationships with employers. This model emphasizes the value of building a dynamic relationship with employers—one which includes connections with the people and departments who will help to ensure a successful job placement” (p.4)

“A true dynamic relationship with an employer will include relationships at all of these levels. By developing relationships at multiple levels you provide yourself with insurance against:

  • Having a relationship which is dependent on the continued employment of one individual
  • Overburdening one individual with every request you may have of that employer
  • Being turned down by an employer who would be willing to work with you because you did not have a relationship with the right person/department
  • Failing to learn about the full spectrum of that employers needs and potentially missing other opportunities to engage with them
  • Gaining the acceptance of one person/department, only to have your success undone by another person/department that refuses to get on board” (p.4).

This guide will help [workforce practitioners] think strategically through the process of finding employers to work with, but also about how to structure …relationships with employers to ensure …the most is made out of [those connections.” (p.5).

 (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)

Full Publication Title: Strategic Employer Engagement: Building Dynamic Relationships with Employers in Teen and Young Adult Employment Programs

Major Findings & Recommendations

“The tools included in this guide are focused on providing teen/young adult-focused workforce development professionals with resources to aid in planning and executing a successful employer engagement activities and related youth employment programming. These tools come from a variety of sources. Some are newly created, some have been adapted to fit the purposes of this guide and others are presented in their original form. The goal is to provide flexible, practical tools that can be used (or adapted for use) in a variety of settings. While many of the tools may be used as standalone pieces, [practitioners] may find that others work best when used in combination with each other. Still others may be more effective once staff has received training on how to use them. Tools are arranged in accordance with a five-step process: Step One: Assessing your current realities and goals Step Two: Preparing young people for the workplace Step Three: Finding employers for your program Step Four: Building relationships with employers Step Five: Managing the ongoing relationships you have built” (p.3). Under each step, the guide provides a variety of tools, such as self-assessments for the practitioner, questions to ask employers, and activities to do together. (Abstractor: Author and Website Staff)