Employer Engagement Toolkit: From Placement to Partners


Creating Career Pathways in the Green Economy

Working with employers to create career pathways, training, and supports that prepare low-income adults for family-supporting careers in the rapidly growing green economy. 

Geri Scott
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Employer Engagement Toolkit: From Placement to Partners

Created by Kevin Doyle, Green Economy for the GreenWays Initiative

Workforce development organizations and educational institutions recognize that strong relationships with businesses are imperative to place their program graduates into jobs. However, it can be difficult to understand these and the value of engaging in deep employer relationships that maximize benefits for program participants and employers.

This toolkit is a guide for training providers, workforce development organizations, community colleges, other educational institutions, and community-based organizations deliberately integrating employer engagement into the core decision making of their program. It offers strategies to increase the number of ways employers can participate in program design and development. It also helps workforce development organizations and educational institutions begin to develop relationships with employers.

Using the Toolkit

This toolkit is organized into four sections and is designed as a modular guide, not a publication that must be read from cover to cover. The tools are designed to stand alone, while also organized into sections that progress sequentially. Use the entire toolkit as a package or select individual exercises, checklists, planning guides, or resources that are most relevant to you. The toolkit begins with an assessment of your current employer relationships; provides ideas for new employer outreach and strategies for positioning your organization as a valued industry convener, and; provides tools that connect employers directly to your training program.

Tool 1. Getting Ready. Where Are You Now?

This section is intended to be the first step in your efforts to incorporate robust employer engagement into each element of your training program design and delivery. 

Tool 2. Targeting Your Relationships

This section supports and helps you focus your relationship building on the strategic decisionmakers in your target industry. Once implemented, these tools will aid in developing deep and lasting, mutually beneficial partnerships. 

Tool 3. Becoming a Go-To Convener

This section provides guidance through understanding industry issues and hosting industry events that address them. It also encourages participation in your program from your target employers. 

Tool 4. Partnering on Program Design and Delivery

This section provides guidance on how to work with your employment partners to create a training program that provides the skilled workers that companies seek with opportunities throughout the industry to promote them. 


Kevin Doyle, Green Economy, created this toolkit for the Green Jobs Innovation Fund, a project of the GreenWays initiative of Jobs for the Future. Philip Jordan from the Economic Advancement Research Institute provided assistance, along with Deborah Kobes and Tom Hooper of Jobs for the Future. Rochelle Hickey provided graphic design.

This workforce solution was funded by a grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration. The solution was created by the grantee and does not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Labor. The Department of Labor makes no guarantees, warranties, or assurances of any kind, express or implied, with respect to such information, including any information on linked sites and including, but not limited to, accuracy of the information or its completeness, timeliness, usefulness, adequacy, continued availability, or ownership. This solution is copyrighted by the institution that created it. Internal use by an organization, and/or personal use by an individual for noncommercial purposes, is permissible. All other uses require the prior authorization of the copyright owner.

Use this link to quickly reference the toolkit: jff.org/employer-engagement-toolkit