Business & Education Partnerships

Business and education partnerships are cooperative relationships between schools and local businesses that are formed for a variety of reasons. Originally started as one-to-one relationships between a single business and a single school, business and education partnerships have expanded to include multi-agency collaborations (Lankard, 1995, p. 1).

Partnerships may follow any of the following three processes:

Business and education partnerships vary depending on the needs and purposes they are trying to fulfill. Lankard (1995, pp. 1-2) described three types of partnerships:

"Business and education partnership programs can encompass a wide variety of activities including staff development, curriculum development, policy development, instructional development, guidance, mentoring, tutoring, incentives and awards" (The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, 2004, p. 2). Business and education partnerships fall into four main categories (Lankard, 1995, pp. 3-5):

  1. Classroom Teaching and Learning: These types of partnerships may focus on helping teachers acquire knowledge and skills such as those related to new technologies. Teachers benefit by improving their knowledge and teaching strategies, by applying work experiences to classroom instruction, and by becoming change agents with the school system. Businesses benefit by acquiring greater knowledge and appreciation for teachers and the teaching profession.
  2. Career and Technical (Vocational) Education Program Development: Companies establish collaborative relationships with local schools and colleges to provide training for students and/or employees. For example, a car manufacturer or dealership that partners with a high school career and technical education center may supply material resources such as cars, parts, and tools, while the center provides the physical space for automotive service classes. Training materials and instructor training may be developed jointly.
  1. Apprenticeships: Apprenticeships are composed of (a) sequenced on-the-job training at work sites and (b) related classroom instruction that may include remediation. A common arrangement is for the business to provide on-the-job training and advancement opportunities for apprentices who attend related instruction classes at a school or community college. Apprenticeships recognized by state and federal Departments of Labor specify the length of the apprenticeship, the work processes learned on the job, and the content of the related classroom instruction.
  1. Work Experience Programs: A type of partnership where the business may provide site visits, internships, workplace or union mentors, or similar opportunities to students who wish to learn more about a business or enterprise.

Business and education partnerships benefit both partners in the following ways (National Association of Partners in Education, 2000, cited in The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, 2002, p. 8):

Human Capital Development

Community Development

Student Achievement

Financial Impact

In 2000, nearly 70% of all school districts reportedly engaged in some form of business partnership – an increase of 35% since 1990 (National Association of Partners in Education, Inc., 2000, cited in The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships, 2002, p. 4). It is anticipated that the number of business-education partnerships will continue to grow.


Abilities Work
Florida's Employment First Initiative has developed the Florida Abilities Work Web Portal and Helpdesk to help employers find qualified candidates with disabilities who are ready and able to work in their communities and provide them with information that would help with their hiring decisions. The web portal offers employment information for both employers and job seekers.

A Business-Community (ABC) School Program (pdf)
In 2006 the Florida Legislature created A Business-Community (ABC) School Program "to encourage the formation of partnerships between business and education, to reduce school and classroom overcrowding throughout the state, to offset the high costs of educational facilities construction, and to use due diligence and sound business practices in using available educational space." ABC Schools offer instruction to students from kindergarten through third grade at a business site. "The school board provides the appropriate instructional, support, and administrative staff and textbooks, materials, and supplies while the host business provides the appropriate types of space for operating the school."

Employment First Initiative
Florida became an Employment First state by Executive Order in October, 2013. Employment First is both a philosophy and policy. It means that employment is the first option for all individuals, including those with significant disabilities.


Lankard, B.A. (1995). Business-education partnerships. (ERIC Digest No. 156). Columbus, OH: ERIC Clearinghouse on Adult Career and Vocational Education.

The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships. (2002, September). Guiding principles for business and school partnerships. Retrieved from /files/download/cd99ef0212dca73

The Council for Corporate and School Partnerships. (2004, February). A how-to guide for school-business partnerships. Retrieved from

Copyright © 2024 by Project10. All rights reserved.