Advisory committees play an important role in training tomorrow’s workforce

By Erin Eagan

As worker shortages reach unprecedented levels and the skills gap widens, it’s more important than ever for educators and employers to coordinate their efforts in training tomorrow’s workforce.

As an employer, you can play a critical role in the changing needs of your organization as well as the industry as a whole by joining an advisory committee at one of Wisconsin’s technical colleges. By doing so, you will have a direct impact on what industry skills the students (your future workers) are taught.

What does an advisory committee do?
Advisory committees are made up of industry professionals and educators working together to help guide each career program, making sure the curriculum/training is relevant and includes the necessary skills required.

To do this, advisory committees focus their efforts on:

Needs assessment — Reviewing overall program requirements and results; identifying areas for improvement

Program planning — Providing input on organizational needs as well as the evolving needs of the industry; helping establish on-the-job training sites; recommending resources and guest speakers for classes

Public relations — Identifying where and how promote the program; aiding in program recruitment

What are the benefits of getting involved?
Members of Advisory Committees have an inside track on hiring program graduates who are able to immediately contribute their skills in the workplace.

“MATC has been a good resource for us on recruiting new talent,” says Jon Lebese, Fixed Operations Director at John Amato Automotive Group. Lebese serves on the college’s Automotive Technology advisory committee and knows first-hand the benefits to members, students and the industry as a whole.

“The partnership has helped shed light on the current needs of our ever-changing workforce,” he says. “(Our advisory committee) has helped MATC get needed, up-to-date equipment to train students. We have also helped with the curriculum requirements as it pertains to the current workforce. Between the instructors and employers we have come up with ideas on how to keep these students in school and employed.”

How to get started
Advisory committees result in employers consistently hiring technical college graduates who are immediately able to contribute their skills in the workplace. If you would like to serve on an advisory committee for your organization or industry, contact the career services professionals at your local technical college.

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