Bridging the Gap: Take Action

Take Action

Improve the linkages between school,
industry and the community.

While schools are under pressure to re-integrate workforce skills, both soft and STEM-based, it will take time. Stakeholders can relate local and regional workforce needs to the state Career Education. The Nebraska Department of Education’s reVISION process aligns career and technical education with local/regional/state workforce and economic development priorities. School districts, businesses and communities come together to recommend adjustments in curriculum, work experiences and community activities to strengthen career and technical education (CTE) and to ensure relevant skills are taught. Public-private partnerships should be pursued to fund new CTE programs, equipment and staff.

Start by organizing a community conversation around local workforce needs.

Preparing Today’s Kids for Tomorrow’s Jobs What Should Our Community Do? is a guide that can be purchased from the National Issues Forums Institute at a nominal cost. The issue guide provides three approaches for deliberation: teaching basic work skills and character traits, academic expectations and creating qualified workers to fill local jobs. Ask your local county extension educator to help facilitate the conversation. Personally invite all of the stakeholders including youth. Assign a recorder, take notes and place them on a community website accessible to everyone. Continue the conversation by building a community-led ad hoc group; strive to develop a plan and keep moving forward. Set benchmarks and celebrate small successes along the way.

Celebrate National Manufacturing Day in a big way.

People, especially millennials, perceive manufacturing jobs as being dirty and boring. Work with local manufacturers to open their doors to the schools and community for tours and talks. Let management talk about automation and technology and workers talk about their skillsets. Extend the celebration by honoring supporting businesses from local suppliers to daycare providers.


Understanding the Problem
Project Overview
Community Process & Collaboration
•  Components of Community Action
•  Critical Role for Industry
•  Building the Bridge Process
•  Take Action
Importance of Labor Market Data
Promising Practices
Bridging the Skills Gap Team