The Brookings Institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy has recently released a new toolkit, Connecting Community Colleges with Employers: A Toolkit for Building Successful Partnerships. Concerns over the nation’s skills gap are longstanding and well document, but according to this toolkit, “community colleges have the potential to provide low-cost, high-quality education and training to students.” It further asserts that “[r]obust relationships between colleges and local industry partners are critical to building strong workforce development programs for students.” As such, the toolkit provides useful information on how community college leaders “can take a deliberate approach to communication with potential partners in their community, including local businesses and industry leaders.”

This toolkit includes three key topics: Creating a Navigator for Industry Partners, Key Characteristics of Productive Partnerships, and Practical Steps for Building Relationships between Colleges and Industries.