Report
Work-Based Learning with Small Business
Summary

Work-based learning models offer employers an opportunity to develop a skilled local workforce.

Publication Date
Nov. 15 2018

As of 2015, small businesses employed nearly half of the nation’s private-sector workforce. Yet, workforce development strategies often focus on large businesses, missing an opportunity to influence almost 50 percent of American workers. 

If small businesses were to partner with colleges, schools, community-based organizations, and workforce training programs, not only would the talent pool increase, but business owners could also have a hand in shaping the skills that the upcoming workforce is learning.  

Work-based learning models offer employers an opportunity to develop a skilled local workforce, providing them with many benefits, including: 

  • Short-term productivity increases 
  • A boost in performance through a diverse workforce
  • An enhanced appeal to investors 
  • Stronger connections to the local community 

To help build these partnerships in communities across America, we’ve developed a guide geared toward small businesses interested in offering work-based learning, as well as a guide and a deck for workforce and education practitioners seeking to engage in work-based learning with small businesses. 

For a broader look at developing work-based learning programs in today’s work environment of automation and contract employees, see JFF's companion report Developing Future Talent: How We Can Prepare for the Future of Work and Business.


Work-Based Learning: A Talent Development Opportunity for Your Small Business 

Useful For: Small Businesses 

Cover - WBL A Talent Dev Opportunity for Small Business

This guide describes how and why small business owners can work with local education and workforce training practitioners to develop a talented local workforce through work-based learning.

"Creating a work-based learning model with local education and workforce training programs can be a great resource to diversify your pre-employment pool."


Work-Based Learning with Small Business: A Guide for Workforce and Education Practitioners 

Useful For: Education and Workforce Practitioners 

Cover - Work-Based Learning with Small Business

This guide provides solutions to common challenges faced by workforce and education practitioners when developing work-based learning programs. 

"Workforce and education practitioners may find that small businesses are easier to approach and may even be more concerned with local unemployment and training issues."


Work-Based Learning: A Talent Development Opportunity 

Useful For: Education and Workforce Practitioners seeking to engage Small Businesses 

Cover - Work-Based Learning - A Talent Development Opportunity

This PowerPoint deck is intended to help professionals engage with small businesses to spark a work-based learning partnership with their organizations.