Economic Opportunities Program

Our Work

Skills for America’s Future has successfully helped create and expand partnerships between more than 40 employers and 230 community colleges across the country to help build a skilled American workforce.

At Skills for America’s Future, we:

  • Act as a national voice for the value of community college-business partnerships, improving the skills, industry-recognized credentials, and employment outcomes of American workers and students
  • Develop partnerships between employers, associations, labor unions, and community colleges, each partner sharing a commitment to creating meaningful and measurable solutions that can be replicated in communities across the country
  • Convene members, partners and interested stakeholders to engage in peer exchange and learning of best practices
  • Facilitate and measures the impact of community college-business partnerships
  • Share knowledge and lessons learned at the community, state and national levels

Our Strategies for Success

Bring Together Economic Development and Skills Development

We have created a national network of more than 300 partnerships among businesses, community colleges, industry associations, government, community-based organizations and labor. This network is continuing to expand. Using our national platform, we help our network leaders highlight models of success, foster peer-to-peer learning, and share replicable and scalable solutions. 

Demonstrate the Efficacy of Employer - Community College Partnership

The partnerships that we have helped create and expand provide employers with the opportunity to share their industry expertise and job skill needs so that community colleges can align their programs to better prepare students—both youth entering the workforce for the first time, and older workers in need of a skills and education upgrade.

These partnerships create a talent pipeline that provides employers with access to skilled workers, connects workers to middle income jobs, and help ensure businesses remain competitive. Learn more about effective employer-community college partnerships on our models of success page.

Bolster the Ability of Organizations Helping Jobseekers to Address Communities’ Workforce Needs

In 2013, SAF launched a new strategy to more closely align employer needs with workforce development organizations. Our partner and affiliate in this work is Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, a workforce intermediary in Chicago launched in collaboration with SAF. SCF employs a team of business developers who work closely with employers to identify current jobs skills, needs, and open positions. Groups like faith-based and community organizations, employer organizations, community colleges, temporary staffing agencies, workforce investment boards, and labor organizations can use these approaches to help companies fill the vacancies with talented job seekers. 

Learn more about Demand Driven Partnerships and explore the Demand Driven Playbook  to apply these principals to your work.