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October 7, 2008    DOL Home > CFBCI > TLC > Partnering with Businesses   
Touching Live and Communities Logo with quote from President George W Bush, 'The purpose of this initiative is to recognize our greatest strengths - the hearts and souls of the American people'

Partnering with Businesses

Winning Ways to Work with Businesses

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Employability Skills for Hard-to-serve Populations

  • 2006_Vision_Business_Council.doc (MS Word®) — Vision and Goals of Business Advisory Council on implementation of vocational training & placement services
  • BUSINESS_ADVISORY_COUNCIL_List.doc (MS Word®)— Members of Business Advisory Council, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
  • Expanding_Employment_Networks.pdf (PDF) — How can organizations integrate networking strategies throughout their programs? This report examines how employment networks function for low-income jobseekers. It looks at the role of employment organizations in expanding and improving the networks of their program participants and features profiles of four promising approaches. Public/Private Ventures also developed a companion publication, a program training guide, which offers specific ideas — including lesson plans and strategies — that can be incorporated into workforce programs. More information is available on our Web site,
  • Goodwill_Soft_Skills_Curriculum_Outline.doc (MS Word®) — Moving Men & Women to Economic Independence, Goodwill's Soft Skills Curriculum
  • Goodwill_Vision_Integrated_Service_Options.doc (MS Word®) — Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit Initiative called Moving Men and Women to Economic Independence in Michigan: Descibes vision for and components of comprehensive, customized, service delivery system for people who are chronically unemployed. Components include intake and assessment, coaching, work identity and soft skills development, hard skills development, academic preparation, transitional employment opportunities, job development and placement services, post placement and retention, and partnership with employers.
  • Goodwill_Within_Reach.doc (MS Word®) — This Program assists people who are chronically unemployed in collaboration with a Business Advisory Council. It reaches out to individuals with learned dependence on entitlements, inadequate environmental supports, & underdeveloped socialization skills.
  • Goodwill_Within_Reach.ppt (MS PowerPoint®) — Presentation, May 24 Conference Call with Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
  • Sample_Curriculum_Employability_Skills.pdf (PDF) — Jobs for Life, formerly The Jobs Partnership, has produced a curriculum of its job readiness course so it can be replicated by churches and faith-based organizations who want to help people secure employment and build healthy lives. The 16-week training course is designed to be a combination of classroom instruction and individual and group application activities. The attached curriculum is a sample only designed as a guide for instructors. You can order the complete toolkit at
  • — Devoted to educating professionals and community leaders about the effects of class and poverty on our society, aha! Process, Inc. was founded as RFT Publishing Co. in 1994 by Dr. Ruby K. Payne. The company began with an emphasis on education and the difficulty children from poverty experience in most schools. The company expanded its focus to include information for government officials, churches, and social service agencies serving people from poverty. The company spreads the message that in all types of social interaction, poverty creates obstacles that require specific tactics to overcome. Experts from aha! Process, Inc. work with school districts, social service groups, and businesses to help people better understand these related issues. We recommend Dr. Payne's books, A Framework for Understanding Poverty and Bridges out of Poverty: Strategies for Professionals and Communities, which you can find on the Web site.
  • — No One is Unemployable by Debra L. Angel and Elisabeth Harney (published by WorkNet Publications, 1997 is an upbeat, practical, positive book that offers tremendous guidance and hope to anyone involved in the job searching process. The book gives a ten-step process for overcoming barriers to employment, from the crucial first step of identifying the employment candidate's barrier to the final step of carefully matching the candidate to appropriate employers. Each step is explained thoroughly, and examples are given. The book also gives advice about job searching from the employer's perspective, and includes a lengthy "encyclopedia" of barriers that notes common real-life barriers and how they can be overcome.
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Reducing Turnover Through Collaboration

  • Achieving_Results_Cascade_Engineering.ppt (MS PowerPoint®) — Presentation, May 30 Conference Call with Cascade Engineering
  • AspenWSI_FlintProfile.pdf (PDF) — Flint Healthcare Employment Opportunities Profile offers insights into the challenges of collaboration in the context of operating a sectoral employment development program and shows the keys to maintaining employer involvement.
  • Business_Value_Assessment_Handbook.pdf (PDF)— The Business Value Assessment toolkit includes a planning handbook, an automated Excel file for tracking specific business value outcomes, and basic guidelines for using questionnaires to assess business value outcomes. Developed in manufacturing and health care workplaces, the toolkit is adaptable and can be applied to a variety of workforce development services, settings, and industries. This toolkit is A Product of The Aspen Institute, Workforce Strategies Initiative,
  • Business_Value_Assessment_Tool.pdf (PDF) — Overview of Tool: What to consider when quantifying the value of your workforce development program. List the key questions you need to ask in doing your assessment.
  • Cascade_University_Brochure.pdf (PDF) — Cascade Engineering, one of the top medium-sized companies to work for, believes that people make organizations successful and CE University is dedicated to the development and growth of people, while striving to create value through knowledge and increase individual and organizational competence. Learn practical ideas and proven techniques to help your organization increase its effectiveness by improving retention. For more details on training and class offerings, go to
  • CASESTUDY_Cascade_Engineering.pdf (PDF) — Stanford Case Study, Bridging the Cultures of Business & Poverty: Looks at what makes hiring and retaining welfare recipients difficult; presents the keys to successfully retaining employees who are from poverty; and asks is there a business case for hiring welfare employees.
  • Engaging_Employers_Benefit_Low_Income_Job_Seekers.pdf (PDF) — Engaging Employers to Benefit Low-Income Job Seekers is based on nine-years, multi-site research conducted among employers engaged with the Annie E. Casey Foundation Jobs Initiative. The report presents lessons learned and looks at what factors constrain or promote employer practices and policies favorable to the hiring, retention, and advancement of low-income workers. It also examines employer attitudes toward workforce intermediaries: What intermediary activities do employers value, and why? How do the activities of intermediaries benefit low-income jobseekers and workers? What is the "customer feedback" from employers regarding the services of intermediaries?
  • EngagingEmployers_Summary.pdf (PDF) — Executive Summary for Engaging Employers to Benefit Low-Income Job Seekers: Lessons from the Jobs Initiative (Annie E. Casey Foundation) addresses these key questions: What kinds of employers are likely to be open to doing business with workforce intermediaries? To what extent are employers willing to support low-income workers — for example, by modifying their human resources policies? What factors constrain employer decisions about low-income workers? Conversely, what factors promote employer practices and policies favorable to the hiring, retention, and advancement of low-income workers?
  • Private_Employers_Public_Benefits.pdf (PDF) — Why don't more employers and workers take advantage of public benefits? In this report, Jobs for the Future, the National Association of Manufacturer's Center for Workforce Success, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Center for Workforce Preparation present research on employer's knowledge or experience with public benefits for low income-families, including benefits aimed directly at increasing employer's hiring and retention of workers from low-income families.
  • TURNOVER_worksheet.doc (MS Word®) — Worksheet to Help You Determine How Turnover Affects an Organization's Bottom Line
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Keys to Placing and Retaining Outstanding Employees

  • CAMW_June_06_Presentation.ppt (MS PowerPoint®) — June 7, Presentation, Capital Area Michigan Works, 2004 DOL WIB Grantee
  • Employer_Supports_Finance_Project.pdf (PDF) — Work Supports and Low-Wage Workers: The Promise of Employer Involvement, published by the Finance Project, 2005, aims to increase the knowledge base among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, program developers, as well as employers themselves, on how to involve employers in work supports for low-wage workers. It describes current issues, challenges, and directions in work supports that affect workers and employers. Drawing from employer practices, it makes an important contribution to the field by presenting promising models and strategies for engaging employers in extending the reach of critical work supports to low-wage workers.
  • Retaining_Good_Workers.pdf (PDF) — Welfare to Work: An Economic Boost, The Journey to Finding and Retaining Good Workers contains a set of recommendations and brief profiles from the Center for Workforce Preparation, an affiliate of the US Chamber of Commerce.
  • State_Policy_Initiative_Retention_Advancement.pdf (PDF) — Public/Private Ventures launched the State Workforce Policy Initiative to determine how states would structure workforce development systems to alleviate poverty for the working poor in the wake of welfare reform. Promoting Opportunity provides a detailed discussion of the results and suggestions for state and local policymakers interested in strengthening employment retention and career advancement services. Working with the premise that although low-income individuals with limited work experience and skills may be able to obtain jobs, they could gain longer-term economic benefit from support to minimize barriers to steady employment and to seek advancement opportunities. P/PV used the initiative to explore the potential of retention and advancement strategies and stimulate state interest in associated policies. Five states were interested in this approach: Colorado, Florida, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington.
  • Tools_Turnover_Reduction.pdf (PDF) — About the Making Work Work Project was facilitated by Goodwill Industries International, Inc., to develop a model to improve employee retention, particularly that of entry-level employees. Which internal business practices affect business retention? What creative strategies can businesses adopt to strengthen those business practices? If adopted, will these strategies reduce turnover and promote employee retention? This practical guide contains lessons learned and tools designed for businesses, employment and training service providers, and local chambers of commerce. This publication includes assessment tools and can be used to inform the action planning process.
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Additional Resources

  • Resources_Jobs_Workforce_Development.pdf (PDF) — This catalog includes reports and products that resulted from the Annie E. Casey Foundation's eight-year Jobs Initiative and other investments in workforce development. The Initiative was designed to connect inner-city young men and women to family-supporting jobs in the regional economy and to improve the way urban labor market systems work for low-income, low-skilled workers.
  • — The Enterprise's Workforce Support System (WSS) is an online tool for organizations that want to improve their existing workforce development program or are considering starting one up. WSS links you to tools, strategies, Internet resources and suggestions for improving program performance. It has six sections and each section addresses key strategies and tools related to its theme. The sections are: community outreach and recruitment; intake, assessment and identifying barriers to employment; preparing job seekers for the workplace; job development and placement; job retention; and career advancement
  • — This Web site is a virtual library of resources for workforce development practitioners of all kinds, providing access to over 2100 of the best tools and materials available from hundreds of organizations. It is organized into 11 major workforce development functions and topics and subtopics within each function. Each function area houses different kinds of resources for a broad spectrum of uses (data, analysis, examples, tools, Web sites, etc.) If you register on the site you can indicate your interests and receive updates based on those choices. Additionally, once registered the site allows you to create your own favorites section, storing resources for future reference. This site has been funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Ford Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation.


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