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Advisory Board Recruitment and Engagement Best Practices

I created this discussion because although it's critical to continuously develop industry relationships and recruit employer advisory board members, it's quite challenging. I'm hoping other community members might have some best practices they could share on how they source potential employer partners, how they approach them, keep them engaged, and develop deeper relationships for internships (preferably paid), apprenticeships and other meaningful work-based learning experiences. Thanks in advance! 

At my school, we also find this to be a challenge. The first thing I can say is that it's ideal to have someone dedicated to this, and even better, several people dedicated to this as part of their core responsibilities. Although it may seem simple, another thing we found was that we needed to stop asking employers for their help and start emphasizing the benefits to their bottom line and the services we offered them at no cost. This is a different mindset and speaks to the fact that when approaching employers, we need to pitch how we help them; not the other way around. Another thing I've found to be effective is to not immediately jump into big asks - it's much more complicated to figure out a paid internship than it is to ask if an employer would be open to joining in remotely to an advisory board to provide their input/opinions to shape curriculum and educational practices. Start small, make it easy, and then gradually deepen the relationship as you get employers to see the value of collaboration. It's important to also show tons of gratitude/appreciation, recognize their contributions (in formal and informal ways), and when their input leads to change/results, tell them what those changes or results were and explicitly mention it was because of their involvement that a difference was made. There's a lot to this topic but those are some tips from my experience. CTE Learn also has a great course on this you may want to check out - CS115-Developing and Maintaining Effective Employer Partnerships.

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