At a Glance
In order to cultivate strong relationships with current Occupational Advisory Committee members and potential new members, instructors at Parkway West Career & Technology Center (Parkway West CTC) are required to conduct two industry visits per school year. The first visit must be with a current Occupational Advisory Committee (OAC) board member, and the second visit must be with a new business with whom the CTC is trying to establish a working relationship.
Parkway West CTC emphasizes the importance of maintaining strong relationships with current business partners and also engaging new local businesses in an effort to establish effective, long-lasting relationships with them. Since the 2015-2016 school year,
Parkway West CTC instructors have met with a current OAC board member and with a potential new business partner once a year to grow and establish these business connections.
The meeting with the current advisory board member provides instructors an opportunity to recognize the service and importance of the board member, and it also can result in referrals within the industry for new business partners and OAC members. The meeting with a potential new business partner allows instructors to seek out additional OAC members who may become partners with Parkway West CTC and assist in areas such as NOCTI evaluations and cooperative learning opportunities. Prior to the meeting, the principal of Parkway West CTC evaluates the potential new business to ensure the industry visit will be advantageous to the specific program at the school.
To make the meetings happen, Parkway West CTC administration, the Workforce Development Coordinator and the program instructors work together to coordinate the visits. The Workforce Development Coordinator assists instructors in locating a new business and setting up a meeting with it. The administration and the Workforce Development Coordinator update a spreadsheet of businesses visited to make sure there are no duplications. Parkway West CTC administration ensures half-day coverage is provided for instructors on the day of their visits. After the visit, the instructor writes a summary evaluation of the visit and includes pertinent information and follow-up action items. The instructor sends the summary to the principal to review.
Before each visit, the Workforce Development Coordinator prepares a folder of information about Parkway West CTC and the program area relevant to the particular business. The folder also includes a “What Employers Need to Know” document about co-op and contact information for the instructor. At the conclusion of the meeting, the instructor sets up a follow-up call with the employer. Potential partners may tour the corresponding program and facility as well.
Since beginning this meeting schedule during the 2015-2016 school year, Parkway West CTC has gained at least one new OAC member per program.
Parkway West Career & Technology Center
Kristen Milanovich, Workforce Development Coordinator