Harper College

Employer Partners Needed for New Training Grant Program

Training Grant Program Gears Visual
Harper is pursuing the Strengthening Community Colleges Training Grant (SCC3) funded by the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration. Harper's proposed project is Prioritizing Equity in Emerging Technologies Pathways at Harper (EmergingTech@Harper). This project will focus on the development of two career pathways – one for Cybersecurity and the other for Artificial Intelligence/Cloud Technologies – that will expand and improve Harper’s capacity to create diverse, skilled, and workforce-ready talent pipelines to meet regional employer demands across multiple industry sectors..

Employer partners have an integral role in developing strong career pathways that incorporate work-based learning and industry-recognized credentials and lead to good-quality jobs with family-sustaining wages.

In collaboration and deep engagement with a variety of partners, Harper is planning to develop and implement two new career pathways to better meet current and future regional workforce needs:

  1. Cybersecurity
  2. Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Technologies

The program design will focus on the interconnectedness of these two  career pathways and will rely on employer partner input to identify in-demand skills and competencies.

How your business will engage with Harper and the benefits you will gain by participating are described below.

Key Engagement Activities

Benefits to Employer Partners

Provide leadership to the project in setting strategic direction for the career pathways.

With employers’ guidance and input in the development of the accelerated career pathways, we will ensure graduates have the skills, competencies, and experience needed to fill vacant positions.

Demonstrate support for worker voices with respect to job quality, worker health and safety, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Employers will have access to a more diverse talent pipeline that will improve the diversity of the workforce currently lacking in the Manufacturing and IT sectors, particularly women and people of color. Employers will see reduced operating costs related to worker health and safety.

Identify and map the necessary skills and competencies for the programs.

Workers will be fully trained in industry-specific occupational skills and competencies. This will reduce the cost and time employers need to commit to get their workers on-boarded.

Assist with curriculum development and program design.

Employers will be assured that the specialized skills, competencies, and experiences are infused throughout the career pathway.

Provide work-based learning opportunities, such as on-the-job training, internships, job shadowing, mentorships, and Registered Apprenticeships.

Employers can hire workers who will arrive at the workplace familiar with the profession, relevant experience, and skills. This allows workers to succeed and advance in their career pathway, resulting in improved workplace culture and climate.

Where appropriate, inform the design of an assessment or validate credentials that will address industry skill needs.

Employers will have access to pipeline of skilled workers who already have the required or preferred credentials, which will lead to increased productivity and reduced operating costs.

Provide resources, such as mentors, donation of equipment, or other contributions to support the proposed project.

Employers will prepare future workers who are familiar with the profession and have been trained on industry-specific equipment used in the workplace.


Offer direct hiring of successful participants of the enhanced program of study, where feasible.

Employers will be able to meet hiring needs more quickly and gain overall efficiencies through improvements in talent acquisition processes. Employers will realize increased employee retention and reduced turnover.

Stronger Together!

Engaged employer partners will help Harper modernize its programs to meet industry workforce needs of today and tomorrow. Together, we can develop career pathways that create a skilled talent pipeline and drive economic opportunity across the region.

Complete the form below to learn more about this exciting opportunity.

Last Updated: 11/6/23