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Toolkit for Developing High-Performing Industry Partnerships
How to Use the Toolkit
What is an Industry Partnership?
The National Fund defines an industry partnership as a dynamic collaboration of a regional group of employers, stakeholders, and workers that convene regularly with the assistance of a workforce intermediary. Successful industry partnerships embody a shared commitment to good jobs, racial equity and inclusion, and a continuous learning mindset.
This toolkit guides workforce practitioners through characteristics that are necessary to develop, grow, and improve industry partnerships. It includes a mix of reports and resources that industry partnerships can use to guide the implementation of different practices based on your industry partnership’s goals and stages of development. It is appropriate for industry partnerships at any stage, from brand new to fully mature.
Before digging into the characteristics, take the self-assessment to get individualized results about the development, goals, and outcomes of your industry partnership. Have other members of your partnership take the assessment as well! Print your results, and complete the continuous improvement template to chart your path forward.
Characteristics of a Successful Industry Partnership
Using updated research and interviews, this toolkit builds on more than a decade of collective experience among the National Fund network and others in the field. We know that industry partnership development is often organic and emergent, not a linear process. We also know that practitioners want more guidance on how to start up and strengthen their partnerships, so we’ve organized a set of resources to serve as a starting point. Over time we will be including more specific resources and tools from the National Fund network.
How We Organize the Five Characteristics
The toolkit is organized around five characteristics. Each characteristic includes key practices and indicators of success. These reflect best practices for high performing industry partnerships. No two partnerships are the same, and partnerships do not need to implement all practices related to each characteristic. The goals and outcomes your partnership has identified can serve as the guide for which practices and resources you choose to focus your development effort.
As you navigate the five characteristics, you’ll notice that some practices and indicators of success are repeated throughout. The repetition illustrates the opportunity to incorporate good jobs, racial equity and inclusion, and continuous learning into all activities to impact the broader workforce ecosystem.