National Network of Business and Industry Associations Releases New Guidebook for Employers

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations today released a guidebook for employers to understand and adopt work-and-learn programs, including modernized internships, apprenticeships and mentorships. Led by Business Roundtable and ACT Foundation, the National Network is a collaboration of 25 business organizations representing 10 economic sectors, and focuses on connecting the worlds of learning and work.

Work-and-Learn in Action: Successful Strategies for Employers highlights 15 real-life models, providing a blueprint to help companies implement similar strategies that improve workforce recruitment, training and advancement.

The guidebook underscores the range of ways that employers are increasingly involved in addressing the skills gap, which is leaving an estimated 4 million jobs unfilled. The examples featured can help more companies design work-based learning opportunities for more students and workers who need new skills.

Recent reports show there are 14 million working learners in the United States –individuals who are formally enrolled in postsecondary learning while also active in the labor market – who are seeking simultaneous opportunities to gain skills and work experiences that lead to good jobs. Companies can use the guidebook to create work-and-learn programs that connect to this working-learner talent pool.

Illustrating real examples from a wide range of company sizes and industries – from healthcare and hospitality to manufacturing and construction – the guidebook explains the benefits of integrating work experience and learning for both employers and individuals. Educators and workforce development professionals, who are working to help students connect what they are learning in school to what they will need to know in the workplace, can find valuable, current information in the real-life examples in the guidebook.

Key components of the guidebook include: a checklist for determining what quality work-and-learn models should entail; an analysis of the value of work-and-learn programs to companies and working learners; a list of key questions for employers to consider in designing programs that meet their specific needs; and a glossary of common work-and-learn terms.


Vincennes University and LIFT Launch New Right Skills Now Program

Lightweight Innovations for Tomorrow (LIFT) and Vincennes University (VU) announced the Right Skills Now program for machinist training. In partnership with LIFT, VU will roll out a CNC Machinist program designed to prepare veterans to transition to civilian jobs as skilled employees with upward mobility potential. The accelerated program of study features national credentials from the National Institute for Metalworking Skills [NIMS] based on skills needed for a career in advanced manufacturing.

In Indiana nearly 500,000 separating military personnel will need to find work in the coming year. The Right Skills Now program is well-designed for veterans because they are able to quickly gain hands-on experience, enhance their skills and enter full-time employment.

Veterans participating in the Right Skills Now program will train at the newly built Gene Haas Training Center, just 25 miles from downtown Indianapolis. This state of-the art, 23,000 square foot center will leverage resources to more than double the number of veterans trained for advanced manufacturing jobs. Partner companies connect with trainees ahead of time and mentor them through the training. Graduates from the program are immediately placed in positions once the program is completed.


NIMS Opens New Gene Haas Education Center

NIMS officially opened its new education center to help educators and businesses deliver the highest quality and most relevant manufacturing training for students and employees. The Gene Haas Education Center, located on NIMS’ campus in Fairfax, VA, will provide workshops and training for instructors and industry representatives.

“NIMS is committed to empowering companies and education institutions to build a skilled workforce in their communities by equipping them with the right knowledge, tools and resources,” says NIMS Executive Director, James Wall. “The Gene Haas Education Center will allow us to further this mission and offer more frequent and targeted learning opportunities for all of our stakeholders.”

The first series of workshops are focused on supporting educators and businesses in developing curriculum that aligns with industry developed standards. The workshop series includes:

  • NIMS Ready
  • Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T) Trainer
  • On-the-Job (OJT) Trainer Preparation
  • Establishing an Apprenticeship Program

“Gene Haas Foundation is proud to support the education center, which will help improve and expand technical training offered through high schools, colleges, businesses and other learning providers,” said Kathy Looman, Gene Haas Foundation. “With 3.5 million manufacturing jobs needing to be filled over the next-decade, our economic competitiveness depends on preparing students, workers and educators to embrace the skills and credentials needed for current and future jobs.”