Guest Column: Engaging Students in Work-Based Learning: You Spoke, We Listened.

Date: September 06, 2017

By Paolo DeMaria, State Superintendent of Public Instruction & Ryan D. Burgess, Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Transformation

Businesses in every Ohio industry are looking for qualified graduates to help them stay ahead in today’s ever-changing economy. In fact, today’s students will likely hold jobs that don’t even exist today. The talent needs of business will be changing quickly, which means workers will need to be flexible, adaptable and ready to acquire new knowledge and skills in real time. Now is a great time for business and education to come together to address skills gaps, build a talent pipeline and help students identify their passions and build competencies they will need to succeed in in-demand career pathways.

So, how can we do these things effectively? A great place to start is through work-based learning. Work-based learning experiences empower students to build important skills for success in the workplace or higher education, while increasing their exposure to the careers available in their communities.

Although we often hear from businesses that are interested in offering work-based learning opportunities to area students, they often cite insurance, liability and administrative burden as obstacles. Opening doors to students to gain hands-on work experience should not be this difficult, and now, it doesn’t have to be.

On July 25, we announced a partnership between the Ohio Department of Education and The Adecco Group, the world’s leading provider of workforce solutions. The Adecco Group has pledged to facilitate 10,000 work-based learning opportunities for students by 2020 and is eager to begin that work in Ohio.

The partnership allows The Adecco Group to help businesses team up with schools by taking on the role of the Employer of Record for work-based learning participants ages 16 or older. In other words, The Adecco Group will relieve the liability and administrative burden associated with employing high school students, allowing employers to focus on offering work-based learning opportunities for students. You spoke, we listened.

To initiate this collaboration, we are challenging Ohio’s businesses to take the lead by reaching out to local schools. If you need help developing a partnership, please contact the Ohio Department of Education’s Cassandra Palsgrove, education program specialist, at [email protected]. Once that partnership is established, The Adecco Group will help build a plan. For more information, contact [email protected].

Emerging talent is all around us, and it’s our job to work together to capture the imaginations of students and build Ohio’s future workforce.

Related Content: NFIB in My State | Labor | Ohio | Staffing

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