Employer Participation in School-to-Work Programs
This paper assesses the extent to which employers participate in school-to-work partnerships and work-based learning, using data from the National Employer Survey (NES-97). It opens with a brief discussion of the history of the school-to-work movement and the development of the School-to-Work Opportunities Act, which seeks to improve the preparation of college- and non-college-bound students for the workforce. The authors then present a review of the literature that focuses on incentives for employer participation in these programs and obstacles to bringing the program to national scale. The authors report on previous attempts to measure the number of participating employers and, finally, compare these estimates with a recent analysis of data from the NES. They find that, while 25 percent of U.S. companies participate in a school-to-work partnership and another 40 percent provide a work-based learning experience, it is not clear how substantive such involvement and experiences are. (This paper was published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 559, September 1998.)
The Benefits to Bridging Work and School
In this paper, the authors use the 1997 National Employer Survey to examine the benefits that result from an improved articulation between the nation's economic and educational systems. Specifically, they demonstrate that there are real and substantial benefits to be gained by individual employers that participate in activities related to school reform and the educational process. While the realization of such rewards does not seem to mitigate the current disconnect between employers and schools, those establishments that do engage in school-relevant activities more positively assess the ability of local secondary schools to prepare students for the world of work. (This paper was published in the Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Volume 559, September 1998.)
Connecting Work and School: Findings from the 1997 National
This paper uses data from the second administration of the National Employer Survey (NES-97) to examine whether initiatives taken by the business and education communities have begun to strengthen the connection between school and work. The authors address four specific questions: (1) To what extent do employers use data on individuals' academic performance or on the reputation of their high schools in the recruitment and hiring of new "front-line" employees? (2) To what extent do employers engage in educational activities with their local high schools, and what factors appear to predict higher levels of participation? (3) Are there tangible benefits to business for participating in the work of their local schools? (4) Are there different patterns in a sample of states that have developed more rigorous academic standards and assessment systems? (This unpublished paper was presented at the April 1998 AERA conference in San Diego, California.)
1997 National Employer Survey Instrument
In 1997, a new employer panel was interviewed for the National Employer Survey (NES-97). The sample included approximately 1,000 employers who had participated in the 1994 and 1996 NES exercises. Employers in California, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania were over-sampled in order to support in depth analyses of local conditions. Funded by the National Center for Postsecondary Improvement, the Consortium for Policy Research in Education, and the National School-to-Work Office, the NES-97 covered a wide range of employer activities. In addition to questions on establishment characteristics, hiring practices, and training practices, the interview asked about work-based learning activities and employer participation with local schools. As with other administrations of the National Employer Survey, these data were collected by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data collection took place during the summer of 1997.
Frequency Tables from the 1997 NES Survey
This set of simple frequencies from the 1997 administration of the National Employer Survey lists all variables from the interview. In addition to one-way tables, breakdowns are also provided by establishment size and economic sector. Interested researchers may find this file useful as a high-level overview of the survey's variable distributions.
Bringing School-to-Work to Scale: What Employers Report
This essay presents first findings from the 1997 administration of the National Employer Survey (NES-97). Last year, the National School-to-Work Office requested that the survey be used to gauge the national impact of school-to-work programs since the 1994 legislation establishing the School-to-Work initiative. Toward this end, the U.S. Census Bureau asked responding employers to describe their involvement in school-to-work programs and work-based learning practices. An analysis of their answers offers two overarching conclusions: (1) there is broad-based involvement of employers in both these activities; and (2) the best predictor of employer participation in school-to-work partnerships is their establishment's involvement in community activities.
1997 NES Public Use SAS Data Set and Survey Instrument
This public use file contains public data from the 1997 NES administration and is available to all researchers who are interested in working with National Survey data. The ZIP file contains an SAS data set in transport format, as well as some documentation. The data are slightly modified from those forming the basis of the reports available on this site. No geographic information is contained in this file. We have contained a subset of the California, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, and Pennsylvania respondents in order to eliminate the original over-sampling of those states. Some data in this file have been top-coded, and some have been suppressed in order to ensure the absolute confidentiality of our respondents. (A guarantee of confidentiality is required for all information collected by the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and data for the National Employer Survey are collected by the Bureau. This arrangement has generated superlative response rates for this voluntary survey of business establishments. The original NES micro-data is only available at the Census Bureau to authorized Census employees.)