How to Develop a local business partnership

If you are involved in building partnerships to expand a business sector in your community, you know that success depends on all partners getting on the same page. Partnerships typically include community and technical colleges, public and non-profit workforce programs, and local businesses to form an ideal base for sector development collaborations in their communities.

A key element of those collaborations is a shared understanding of the skills, knowledge, and other requirements needed to successfully perform “critical work functions” in a work setting.

  • College programs and workforce educators depend on this collaboration to design their curriculum so that graduates meet the needs of local employers.
  • Local workforce and employment programs rely on the shared view of worker requirements to design programs and recruit and match program participants to available jobs.
  • And businesses need an understanding of worker requirements to develop their position descriptions and then hire and retain work-ready employees who can grow with their business needs.

CareerOneStop’s Competency Model Clearinghouse offers sets of these pre-defined competencies for workers in a wide variety of industries—from construction and manufacturing, to food service and health care (see full list of industries).

A competency model is defined as “a collection of multiple competencies that together define successful performance in a defined work setting.” It provides a clear description of what a person needs to know and be able to do—the knowledge, skills, and abilities—to perform well in a specific job, occupation, or industry.

Competency models can help address these needs:

  • Identify specific employer skill needs
  • Develop competency-based curricula and training models
  • Develop industry-defined performance indicators, skill standards, and certifications
  • Develop resources for career exploration and guidance

Here’s one example, the Food and Beverage Service Competency Model:

Food and Beverage Service Building Blocks Pyramid

The Clearinghouse also offers User Guides with background information, step-by-step directions, and resources for using competency models. These can help workforce educators and others to develop their own unique competency models.

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