Skip to content
  ETA Home / GRANTS / AWARDS /  

School-to-Work Opportunities Act: Industry Association/Business Consortium Solicitation (SGA/DFA 99-005)

U.S. Department of Labor
Office of Public Affairs
Washington, D.C.

For Immediate Release September 7, 1999

National School-to-Work
Opportunities Office

Chris Clancy
(202) 401-6222
U.S. Department of Labor
David Steward
(202) 219-6871
U.S. Department of Education
Jim Bradshaw
(202) 401-1576
National School-To-Work Office
Awards Industry Grants

Eight grants totaling $4,783,651 are being awarded to national industry groups and trade associations and to regional and local business organizations to increase employer involvement in School-to-Work. U.S. Secretary of Education Richard Riley and U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman, whose respective departments oversee the National School-to-Work Office, made the awards today.

"School-to-Work provides students with opportunities to connect their classroom lessons with the workplace in ways that challenge them to study harder in school and plan more for the future", Secretary Herman said. "Employers can encourage students to make that connection."

"I am pleased that these national and local leaders in business and industry have committed so much of their time and resources to School-to-Work." said Secretary Riley. "The stewardship that these adults offer will have immeasurable benefits to students as they prepare for life in the 21st century, and begin to develop the skills they need to be lifelong learners."

The National School-to-Work Office provides funding and technical assistance to establish School-to-Work (STW) partnerships that give students opportunities to learn about careers and potential fields of study. Those partnerships, comprised of students, educators, parents, employers, organized labor and community groups, encourage students to pursue rigorous academics by connecting classroom lessons with their application in the workplace.

Employers play a key role in the partnerships by offering work-based learning -- internships, apprenticeships and job-shadowing. STW also encourages employers to become involved in classroom instruction and curriculum development so that students will understand how mastering academics is crucial to their success as adults.

The grants awarded today are to the Connecticut Business and Industry Council, Hartford, Conn., $500,000; Home Builders Institute, Washington, D.C., $1 million; Hospitality Business Alliance, Chicago, $1 million; Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, Lansing, Mich., $250,000; Rhode Island Marine Trades Education Initiative, Wakefield, R.I., $285,651; Linking Education and Economic Development, Sacramento, Calif., $500,000; Washington Software Alliance, Bellevue, Wash., $498,000; Automotive Youth Educational Systems, Inc. and the National Automobile Dealers Association, Troy, Mich., $750,000.

Today's awards represent the second round of competitively awarded grants that concentrate on increasing both the number of employers involved in STW and the extent of their participation on the national, regional, state, and local levels.



2701 Troy Center Drive, Suite 450, Troy, MI 48084

     Don Gray (248) 273-1202
The rapid pace of changing technology has driven up the demand for automotive transportation jobs that require high-tech skills. The U.S. Department of Labor says the shortage could be as much as 60,000 technicians. Consequently, wage-rates for these jobs have also risen dramatically. For example many master technicians earn as much as $100,000 annually.

To answer this shortage, Automotive Youth Educational Systems, Inc. (AYES) and the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) have formed a partnership which focuses on two main goals. First, the partners hope to substantially increase the number and capacity of automotive transportation employers participating in School-to-Work. Secondly, it hopes to increase the number of challenging work-based learning opportunities within the automotive industry.

The partnership is building on its strong STW initiatives already in place. AYES has worked to develop a top-notch, industry led School-to-Work system for secondary education. Led by three major manufacturers - DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, and Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., the AYES Model for preparing students for high-skill, high-wage jobs has been tested and proven for the last four years.

NADA's membership offers STW students the opportunity to work with 19,500 small and medium employers across the country, most notably through NADA dealerships' linkages with vocational and technical schools.

For the next two years, AYES-NADA will work to increase the number of AYES business-education partnerships at state and local levels, which it believes will have the most direct impact on increasing the number of employers engaged in STW activities. Additionally, the partners will focus on expanding the knowledge base of the automotive transportation industry about the AYES Model, how it can benefit both students and employers.

AYES-NADA will offer structured workplace learning experiences for both students and teachers, an integrated curriculum developed in partnership with the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD), paid internships for students and "graduation" certificates and crediting, and ways to share best practices and "lessons learned" among the state and local partnerships.

2. Home Builders Institute
1090 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 600, Washington, D.C. 20005

     Philip Polivchak (202) 371-0600


The Home Builders Institute, established in 1967, is the educational arm of the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), which boasts almost 200,000 member companies.

The NAHB is committed to helping youth learn about the diverse careers associated with the residential construction industry and ensure that those students obtain the skills necessary to enter into and succeed in the industry. It is focused on helping the entire industry do a better job of informing schools and students about career opportunities available in the industry including skilled trades, professional and technical occupations, retail and wholesale, finance, real estate, utilities and manufacturing.

The Home Builders Institute (HBI) is proposing a unique approach to integrate all School-to-Work (STW) components and support the goals of the National Employer Leadership Council's (NELC's) Employer Participation Model.

Using the construction of a home as the focal point for student involvement activities, HBI will introduce students to all aspects of the industry and the skills that are required across occupational lines, and it will integrate construction-related concepts into classroom based instruction. It will call upon its extensive membership to be involved in all components of the STW process --- school-based learning, work-based learning and connecting activities.

The project will be divided into three phases. Phase One will concentrate on developing a framework for implementing STW activities through partnerships between Home Builders Associations and education agencies, both on the state and local level.

In the Second Phase, the industry-specific STW strategies developed in those partnerships will be tested in selected school systems for efficacy, efficiency, and the applicability to other parts of the country.

Phase Three, designed to promote sustainability of STW, will promote the partnerships and linkages formed among HBA's, other industry initiatives, and educational entities that encourage work-based learning activities and student enrollment in trades related programs.

Plans call for the students' housing construction projects to be year-long learning experiences with students being exposed to more than 50 different occupations. Joint sponsorship of house design and construction projects will be encouraged, especially in areas where programs like Habitat for Humanity and the Construction Skills Foundations exist.

3. Hospitality Business Alliance
250 South Wacker Drive, Suite # 1400, Chicago, IL 60606

     Michael Bartlett (312) 715-5387


The Hospitality Business Alliance (HBA) was founded by the industry's two leading trade associations -- the National Restaurant Association and the American Hotel and Motel Association. It represents one of the five largest industries in America and all the nation's employers in restaurants, hotels, and motels.

The HBA's mission in the effort is to engage its membership in industry-driven school-to-work initiatives across the country. It plans to increase employers capacity to participate in work-based learning sites that are part of industry school-to-work programs designed to help students graduate into post-secondary hospitality programs and eventually move on to management positions.

The centerpiece of the HBA's strategic plan is the creation of intermediary organizations called State Hospitality Education Partnerships (SHEP) which are formal alliances among employers, educators, and government agencies. Those SHEPs will build upon and enhance existing STW systems.

The HBA lists eight goals in its plan :
  1. Create state Hospitality Education Partnerships to encourage STW on a local level.
  2. Launch a national outreach campaign to employers.
  3. Disseminate STW educational materials about employer needs and expectations to both teachers and students.
  4. Continue to participate in setting national skill standards.
  5. Expand professional development activities for teachers and guidance counselors.
  6. Increase students scholarships.
  7. Conduct more and increasingly sophisticated research on the successes and challenges STW presents to employers and other stakeholder groups.
  8. Fundraise at least $10 million annually to support 50 SHEPS and ensure sustainability.

Already, the HBA operates from a strong base. HBA-sponsored intermediary organizations (which will become the SHEP's) are already operating in 16 states and the District of Columbia. And as of September of 1999, HBA will participate in STW partnerships covering 24 states, more than 900 schools, 18,000 students, and 1,500 internship sites.


1. CBIA's Strengthening Employer Connections Initiative
350 Church Street, Hartford, Hartford County, CT 06103

     Lauren Weisberg Kaufman (860) 244-1900


The Connecticut Business and Industry Council (CBIA) is the force behind this new employer-driven School-to-Work initiative which targets two high-growth industries in the state - manufacturing and information technologies.

Called the Strengthening Employer Connections Initiative (SEC), the effort concentrates on these two industry sectors that represent critical segments of both the state's and the nation's economy. They also suffer from a serious lack of skilled workers. It is estimated, for example, that 20% of the state's information technology jobs go unfilled.

CBIA is the largest statewide business membership organization in the nation with more than 10,000 members that include 2,000 manufacturers and 600 insurance companies. It has a long-standing involvement in public policy issues involving education and workforce development. Already a key player in Connecticut's School-to-Career (STC) partnership, CBIA plans to both broaden and deepen employer participation in those sectors by providing direct services to its members and by collaborating with a variety of employer organizations.

Its goals include increasing work-based learning opportunities for students and educators, developing enhanced outreach to companies of all sizes, funding intermediary organizations (like the Chamber of Commerce and other trade organizations) who can then help their members create work-based learning opportunities, providing employers training in how to provide work-based learning, and sharing "best practices" to employers.

Through its current involvement in STC, CBIA has developed a host of materials and services for employers. Plans are in the works now to develop videos, teacher guides, and student activity sheets for each of the sectors.

CBIA believes that its new initiative will expose 2,500 students, 300 teachers, and 175 counselors to career opportunities in manufacturing and information technologies.

2. Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce
Investment and Industry Council Model
300 E. Michigan-Suite 300, Lansing, MI 48933

     Allyson Knox (517) 487-6340

The Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce (LRCC), which is responsible for planning, implementing, and sustaining this project, is the largest and most diverse business consortium in Michigan representing 2,182 members. The LRCC's plan is to create a regional, business-driven School-to-Work partnership that engages at least 1,050 employers in work-based learning initiatives.

Recognizing a history of employers joining (and then leaving) business-education partnerships, the LCCC was intent on finding a successful model on which it could build and sustain its efforts. The model it found in Greensboro, North Carolina, will be used to develop the Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce Investment Council and Industry Council Model - the framework for a school-to-work partnership involving local employers, 28 school districts and the Lansing Community College.

The partnership will focus its efforts around five industries that the Michigan Employment Security Agency has identified as growing at a rapid pace - Health Services, Transportation, Manufacturing, Computer Technologies, and other Service industries. The partnership will consist of 5 Industry Councils (representing those fields), and an Investment Council (representing regional industry needs).

The Industry Council, comprised of 10-12 industry representatives, will concentrate on three areas. They are linking jobs, skills, and curriculum; work-based learning activities; and communications.

The Investment Council will provide regional coordination, sustainability, and outreach. Its members include the Chamber Board President, Community College President, School Superintendents, the Greater Lansing Labor Council, and others. Fifty-five employers will serve on the Councils and their sub-committees helping recruit other employers to offer work-based learning experiences.
3. LEED-Sacramento
2710 Gateway Oaks Drive, South Building, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95833

     Brenda Gray (916) 641-4180
In 1992, out of concern for the economic future of the Greater Sacramento Region, a group of high level industry executives, labor representatives, school district administrators, and community-based organization representatives created a broad-based nonprofit coalition called Linking Education and Economic Development (LEED).

LEED is committed to building alliances between business and education to create an appropriately skilled workforce in the greater Sacramento region, with the ultimate goal of permanently improving the economic vitality of the region. LEED has developed extensive partnerships among business, education, community and government entities. The partnerships work to give all students a variety of education and career possibilities, help local industries with the creation of new workforce development opportunities, and provide the community with the economic advantages that come from having a highly-skilled and educated workforce.

LEED proposes to expand upon its existing infrastructure, mobilizing employers and educators throughout the greater Sacramento region to undertake a three-year campaign. The campaign has three main action-oriented components. First, it is committed to redesigning the STC system, creating a new infrastructure that will sustain it. Additionally, it plans to host a series of high-profile events to increase employer engagement in School-to-Career activities with intensive training for employers and educators on the development of work-based learning (WBL) opportunities. Finally, it intends to increase emphasis on networking stakeholders and fiscal planning. This campaign will be enhanced, supported and augmented by the development of a partnership with another mature intermediary organization known as Business/Education Expectations: School-to-Career Partnership (BE2).

As Sacramento's STC system continues to grow and expand and as WBL becomes an integral part of every student's education, the 40,750 employers regionally are beginning to feel increased pressure for their time and resources. LEED has set the ultimate goal of providing for all 210,000 students within the region a continuum of WBL experiences beginning in kindergarten and extending through post-secondary.

LEED plans to increase employer participating in STW activities by twenty percent in the first year and twenty percent every year thereafter.
4. Rhode Island Marine Trades Education Initiative
212 Main Street, Suite #3, Wakefield, RI 02879

     Ralph Boragine (401) 783-4200


Sponsored by the Rhode Island Seafood Council (RISC), the Rhode Island Marine Trades Education Initiative has two main goals. The initiative hopes to increase the number of employers and students who are actively involved in School-to-Career is the state and, it intends to build an infrastructure for educator/employer cooperation that will be sustained for years to come.

The RISC is a non-profit organization that has taken a leadership role in the Narragansett Bay area marine trade industries. It has endeavored to form and expand partnerships between schools and the marine industries to increase both the number of employers involved in education reform and specifically, those who offer work-based learning opportunities.

While RISC will oversee the project, the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, the Ocean State Aquaculture Associations and the East Bay Economic initiative will support it. It also enjoys strong alliances with Roger Williams University, the University of Rhode Island, the state's School-to-Career Office and five Career and Technical Centers. Additionally, the American Seafood Institute, the state's Travel and Tourism Hospitality Association, the International Yacht Restoration Association, the Rhode Island Lobstermen's Association, and other related entities are also "on board" as intermediary organizations, committed to getting their membership involved in school-business partnerships.

The initiative hopes to actively engage the marine industries, the related fields (law, health, tourism, etc.) and schools in creating a system for providing work-based learning opportunities to all students. It also hopes to increase the visibility of the seafood industry and the number of workers who are prepared for the marine trades. It also intends to strengthen the connection between education and workforce demands and to gather related data.

One of the project's first tasks will be to identify the skills needed to remain competitive in both the local and global markets. Plans call for a website that will increase communication among parents, students, educators, and industry leaders and employees. Industry "Champions" will be identified and used to recruit other employers who can offer job shadowing, apprenticeships, mentoring, and internships. Eventually, work-based learning curriculum that is specific to the marine industries will be used as a framework for a new Narragansett Bay Academy.

The RISC hopes that models will emerge from its efforts that can be shared with other regions of the country with similar economies and challenges.

5. Washington Software Alliance (Information Technology Consortium)
3101 Northup Way, Suite 250, Bellevue, WA 98004-1449

     Marge Shiroyama (425) 889-8880


The Washington Software Alliance, Seattle Public Schools, Seattle-King County Private Industry Council and YouthForce are the partners that form the Information Technology Consortium (ITC).

The partnerships' goal is to increase information technology (IT) employer involvement in School-to-Work (STW). Specifically, it hopes to get 500 information-technolgy employers directly involved in STW activities such offering teachers and students internships, developing IT curriculum, conducting on-line forums about the industry, advising students on career pathways and forming IT career cluster advisory teams.

The formation of this partnership, and its commitment to increasing IT employer involvement in STW comes at a critical time. According to a study by the Information Technology Association of America, Washington State currently has 14,700 vacant IT positions - a number that is expected to increase to 64,000 in the next three years. And there is a tremendous gap between the numbers of students graduating with degrees in information technology and the need for skilled workers, even though the medium income for software employees is $66,752.

Washington Software Alliance (a non-profit trade association that serves the software industry) and YouthForce (a non-profit youth internship developer that will assume a critical role as intermediary) will work closely on outreach. Outreach efforts include on-going meetings with employer and IT staff groups, participation in employer forums and other employer outreach, and newsletter distribution.

An integral part of the ITC's efforts will focus on curriculum development. Eight IT career clusters have been identified through research sponsored by the Washington Software Alliance (WSA). They include; network specialist, technical writer, software engineer, technical support representative and others. The research also identified SCAN skills and produced a framework of competencies recognized by industry leaders like the Microsoft Corporation and the Boeing Company.

The partnerships will offer a myriad of opportunities to teachers for in-service training and internships, and there are efforts to build strong links among traditional high schools, vocational training, and other post-secondary institutions.

The "best practices" that come from the ITC will guide the Seattle School District's design of Career Academies. Those best practices will also be used to further work already underway through the New Urban High School reform efforts and the Department of Education's Technology Challenge Grants.