Economic Opportunities Program

Why Work with Skills?

American businesses are facing a growing skills gap challenge and companies with open jobs cannot find workers with the needed skills to fill them. An independent policy program of the Aspen Institute, Skills for America’s Future (SAF) is uniquely positioned to help reduce this skills gap by increasing the number and strengthening partnerships between employers and community colleges. These partnerships will help create a talent pipeline, ensuring that businesses remain competitive. SAF has established a national network of more than 40 employer and 300 community college partners. 

What are the benefits of becoming a Skills for America’s Future partner?

  • VISIBILITY: Raising awareness of the nation’s challenge to fill millions of available jobs, and spotlighting effective solutions to help close the skills gap, and make America’s businesses more productive, innovative, and competitive.
  • CONNECTIONS: Matching high-performing community college partners with high-impact employers who are seeking trained workers in their region or service area.
  • PROMOTION: Highlighting successful business and community college partnerships at conferences, in the media, on the SAF website, through social media, interest groups, and legislators.
  • PEER LEARNING: Offering opportunities to network, share, and learn from effective partnerships and practices.
  • SCALING: Supporting expansion and replication of partnerships that benefit individuals, employers, community colleges, and the local economy.
  • ADVOCACY: Working cooperatively with interest groups to create a policy environment that enables community colleges and employers to partner in order to offer skills training, credentials, and degrees that are relevant to the local labor market.  

What does Skills for America’s Future ask of its partner organizations?

  • BECOME A MODEL OF SUCCESS: Your community college-employer partnership will be showcased and shared with educational institutions, interest groups, and businesses so others can learn from your success. A Model of Success may include providing tuition assistance, equipment, mentorships, curriculum development or career guidance.
  • SHARE PARTNERSHIP IMPACT: How do you know that your partnership works? Tell us. Twice a year, SAF will ask its employer and community college partners to share the results of their program. The data collected by SAF will help to convey the value of community college and employer partnerships.  
  • HIGHLIGHT YOUR PARTNERSHIP: Partners are encouraged to become a website supporter by signing up to feature your company logo and partnership on the SAF website. Your partnership may be featured in the media and other promotional material.