K-64 brings education, business, and government together to connect people of all ages with the skills needed to fill jobs and build careers in Catawba County.

Employer Engagement

Employer Engagement

Employer engagement creates a network between education and businesses, and reinforces the up-to-date skills sought by employers. Businesses can initiate employer engagement through oversight, program design, program delivery, recruitment, and the hiring process (Spaulding and Martin-Coughey, December 2015, pg. 8). In addition, businesses can engage with local schools to set up apprenticeship or internship programs which train students and strengthen their soft skills.

Workers develop basic, soft, and hard skills through employer engagement. Basic skills are beneficial in all fields of work, and create the foundation for hard skills. Soft skills include employee engagement, flexibility, and problem-solving tactics (The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships). A strong foundation in these qualities prepares employees for job-specific requirements. Collectively, these skills increase the quality and quantity of products as well as reduce errors in industry production. 

For employer engagement to be effective, employers must focus on the current condition of their industries and help workers develop the skills needed for constant changes (Johnson, 2018). Businesses must collaborate with workforce programs and educational systems to understand and train future employees. businesses must also support curriculum development and become involved in their future workers’ training. For example, technological advancement results in rapid change for many industries; however, industries can remain competitive in their market by training employees to work with advanced technology. 

According to the United States Department of Commerce, 91% of apprenticeships lead to employment opportunities (The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships). Employer engagement increases productivity, strengthens the local economy, and prepares businesses for the future. It also requires businesses to interact with employees, educational systems, and workforce programs. Through this joint effort, employers can meet the needs of the industry by helping educational systems train future workers in relevant skills.


Johnson, Scott. (March 2, 2018). Developing a Strategy for Effective Employer Engagement. Social Solutions.  Retrieved from http://www.socialsolutions.com/blog/employer-engagement-strategy/ 

Spaulding, S. and Martin-Coughey, A. (December 2015). The Goals and Dimensions of Employer Engagement in Workforce Development Programs. Urban Institute. Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/sites/default/files/alfresco/publication-pdfs/2000552-The-Goals-and-Dimensions-of-Employer-Engagement-in-Workforce-Development-Programs.pdf  

Spaulding, S. and Martin-Coughey, A. (December 15, 2015). Employer Engagement: Getting it right under WIOA. Urban Institute. Retrieved from https://www.urban.org/urban-wire/employer-engagement-getting-it-right-under-wioa  

The Benefits and Costs of Apprenticeships: A Business Perspective. (November 16, 2016). United States Department of Commerce. Retrieved from http://www.esa.doc.gov/reports/benefits-and-costs-apprenticeships-business-perspective  

Why Does Employer Engagement Matter? (2014). Career Development Institute. Retrieved from http://www.thecdi.net/write/Why_Does_Employer_Engagement_Matter_A_Toolkit_for_Managing_Employer_Activities_in_Schools_and_Colleges.pdf