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November/December Contents | Gazette
Employers Go to Schools to Keep Young
A NATIONAL SURVEY developed by Penn's Institute
for Research on Higher Education has found that companies that are involved
with local high schools have significantly higher retention rates among
young workers than employers who don't.
The project was led by Dr. Robert Zemsky, professor
of education and director of the institute; by Dr. Susan H. Fuhrman, the
George and Diane Weiss Professor of Education who serves as dean of the
Graduate School of Education; and Dr. Peter Cappelli, professor and chair
of management and director of the Center for Human Resources. The survey
of more than 5,400 employers, which formed the second part of a national
employer survey, was administered by the United States Census Bureau.
The survey confirms that "working with schools
makes good business sense," according to Zemsky. "It tells us
there is a connection between school and work where employers take their
young workers more seriously and workers take their employers seriously."
The workers in question are between the ages of 18 and 25.
According to Cappelli, the tight labor market "is
driving firms to pay more attention to recruiting. They are cozying up
to schools to get a leg up in recruiting."
The authors found, among other things, that about one
out of every four employers reported participating in formal work-to-school
partnerships, while one out of three engaged in some form of work-based
learning, such as mentoring, internships, apprenticeships, and "cooperative
education," which includes companies having input into designing
"Maybe involvement in the schools allows employers
to hire more wisely," says Fuhrman. "Maybe it leads to a workplace
that is more enriching. We don't know. What we do know from this is that
familiarity between the two breeds content, that employer interaction
with schools is beneficial."
item | November/December Contents | Gazette
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Gazette Last modified 10/28/98