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Abstract Details for A Guide to Developing Collaborative School-Community-Business Partnerships

The “gold standard” of youth outcomes is when they are achieving employment and pursuing a clear career path. The activities transition and employment initiatives, and the partnerships that support them, are most appropriately judged against this standard. This Guide presents approaches and considerations for the development and implementation of broadly inclusive partnerships that strive for this standard. We are calling them School-Community-Business partnerships. This designation recognizes that in addition to schools and their business partners playing essential roles, a host of other partners from the community will be also be important to youth success. The strategies and perspectives presented here are based on approaches to partnerships that we have observed in action, learned from a variety of effective practitioners and professional partners, and gleaned from relevant research. These strategies may suggest adjustments in how local collaborating systems have typically operated. The intention is that schools, businesses and employers2, vocational rehabilitation, government agencies, youth services, disability employment programs, families, youth and any involved partner will jointly realize that process-oriented “meetings to meet” are no measure of collaboration and are certainly no measure of progress. Rather, we should be ultimately counting how many students exit school with jobs and a clear career path. The Guide covers important considerations for implementing an effective collaborative process for both individual and systems level outcomes. Thus, the Guide will focus on useful approaches, policies, and strategies necessary to facilitate partnerships that result in better outcomes for students and youth with disabilities and tangible mutual benefits for collaborating partners.