Advisory Committees and Partnerships

When creating effective district career development programs, Career and Technical Education (CTE) and Work-Based Learning (WBL) programs, it is important to recruit and engage partners in the regional employer community.

Employer partners bring much value to student personal and professional development through their involvement with CTE and WBL programs. Employers can provide experiential learning opportunities for students, and offer their occupational and industry insights and perspectives on the types of knowledge, skills and attributes to which students aspire.

Collaboration between employers and educators (including CTE instructors) is referred to as “employer engagement.” “Employer” is shorthand for a wide range of business, industry and labor stakeholders, including multi-national corporations, locally owned businesses, industry associations and organized labor.

Minnesota requires local Carl D. Perkins funds recipients (districts who use funding for CTE and WBL programs) to create and use local “advisory committees” with employer members, as well as representation of parents/caregivers, educators, community members and students. Advisory committees are essential to ensuring program relevance and quality, providing students and school districts with new opportunities and resources, and connecting students and educators with the larger regional, state and national employment communities. Related offsite resources offer guidance to help educators:

  • Design an effective advisory committee structure.
  • Recruit employer members.
  • Coordinate and manage the committee to set and achieve district goals.
  • Create and use instruments and processes to measure the effectiveness of the committee.
Career and Technical Student Organizations (CTSO) are key components to a strong CTE program and involve approximately 22,000 Minnesota students annually as members. These organizations engage community and local businesses to help students understand career pathways while bringing relevance to the classroom that prepares students to be career and college ready. Student organizations also provide industry-based competitive events and leadership experiences at school, state and national levels. In addition, a community service component offers opportunities for students to develop 21st century skills that are focused on creativity, problem-solving, teamwork and goal setting. CTSO available to Minnesota students, include: