Craig McAtee, the CEO of the National Coalition of Advanced Technology Centers (NCATC), gave a presentation on the work being done by NCATC, promising steps taken by Pellissippi State’s apprenticeship program, and the emerging best practice of the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) Model.

Grantees received information on promising practices implemented by Pellissippi State including:

  • How to focus on flexibility and employer satisfaction.Pellissippi found that it is important to:
    • Take on the burden of the program-related employer paperwork when possible
    • Design a program with flexible start times and online options instead of a rigid semester-based schedule
    • Subsidize program pricing to make scaling easier
    • Implementing these practices has helped the program establish and maintain high apprentice retention rates.

Grantees also walked away with effective strategies employed by Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) Model. 

  • The BILT Model was developed by the National Convergence Technology Center led by Dr. Anne Beheler through funding from the National Science Fund and has a typical timeline of 6 months to a year.
  • Helpful BILT model employer engagement strategies include:
    • Bridging the gap between education and labor demands by including industry representatives in development of curriculum and programs
  • Seeking input from businesses regarding labor market trends and demands
  • Working with college administration to allow colleges to build inroads with business community
  • Get employers to speak for you instead of having to speak for yourself