Work it Wednesday: What is Employer U?

According to a article posted earlier this month, it is the convergence of ‘talent development and higher education’? This means colleges partnering with industry for specific degree programs in the forms of new, innovative curriculum aligned with degrees plus the almighty dollar (i.e. endowments).  Another similar article, alluded to the belief that this is part of  industry mindset shifting and responding to the changing workforce and what they see as community colleges and universities slow pace and/or inability to prepare and graduate ‘workforce-ready’ trained students.

In addition, these actions and acquisition as you will read below, tell us, the consumer and educator, about how we educate students for the 4th Industrial Revolution (I delve into the topic in a previous piece).  What I found interesting is that these partnerships not only involve universities but also community colleges. The reason I find this peculiar:  typically, junior colleges, as they used to be called were aimed at certificate-type technical training (e.g 6 months – 18 months programs) and now, between the 3rd and 4th Industrial Revolution, an emphasis is made for students to graduate with an associate’s degree (2-year).

What’s the Focus?

As an example of the community and university public/private partnership, let’s look at the State Farm Insurance folks and the $30 million donation to Arizona State University and Maricopa Community College students.  “Technological change holds enormous promise and the potential for job creation. It also challenges employees, employers and students and presents a change we all must adapt to,” said State Farm Chairman and CEO Michael Tipsord.  The goal is to align workforce pathways and student career interest which was music to my ears! In addition, career guidance and exploration and  financial support would also be included in the partnership.

For those of you in Texas, this translates to having the opportunity to earn a new MBA online with a pathway to work for the Dallas Cowboys. Yup, your degree would state University of North Texas, Master’s in Business Administration in Sport Entertainment Management. For those of you into flying a plane, then look no further than Westwind School of Aeronautics in Phoenix, Arizona,

where United Airlines (UA) purchased the whole school.  Yup, you heard it right UA bought the whole school just similar to buying a Boeing airplane.  What is the desired outcome for American Airlines:  graduate 300+ students in one year.  That is a big goal for a new partnership but again, this is industry and businesses work much faster than academia.

One of the reasons we lose students, both in high school and college is because they need a job.  Quick Primer:  students need to support themselves or their immediate families and less not we forget how difficult American public and private colleges have made it in being able to afford tuition. Not by coincidence, that is one of the top three questions students ask me:  ‘Does your program promise to get me a job when I finish?’  Unfortunately, not all colleges are as lucky to have industry partnerships for all majors/degrees and/or career centers to allow for the ‘magical moment’, as I like to call it, when a student’s face lights up because they have figured out what they can do that both makes them happy and can be a job where they will earn enough money to provide for themselves and/or their  ‘familia’.  This needs to change, in my opinion.

What about similar partnerships but for Junior High and High School students?

This is the piece that I find interesting because for me, career exploration and actual experiential learning, provided by local industry itself, begins earlier than college. Wouldn’t you agree?  Well, that’s one of  the goals for Wiin, my little Work in industry now, Inc. side gig. I not only think we should support local businesses by buying local and spending monies in your local community, I believe our local big and small businesses should hire local talent, especially those students with incessant social and economic barriers that need extra resources in breaking the poverty and lack of education cycle.

Yes, I understand not all cities or towns agree with this concept but let us ponder this idea:    growing our own talent means the future contributing member of the community (i.e. the young student) feels respected, wanted and their specific skills sets/talent is cultivated from the onset; then, we send them to college, maybe outside of the state if need be, but with an ‘already created partnership and pathway’ for the student to have a  job in the town/city where they graduated high school.  And for inspiration, we all need to look no further than the State Farm and Arizona State University partnership that also includes local, high schools students. PREVIOUS POSTWork it Wednesday: The Gender Wage Gap & it’s Implications to our Society Leave a ReplyLogged in as Texanite Thoughts and ‘Comentarios’. Log out?COMMENTNotify me of new comments via email.Notify me of new posts via email.Search for:Follow Blog via Email Click to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.Join 37 other followersFOLLOW


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