March 30, 2017
Sustainable and successful transformation of state career readiness systems, including but not limited to Career Technical Education (CTE), requires engagement with a variety of stakeholders who are deliberately working to share ownership. Lead agencies must engage those from industry, who may be new to policy-making, not only to generate buy-in but also to reach state goals for transformation.
To help with this work, Advance CTE created a tool based off of two tools created by CCSSO in June and November 2016. This tool, developed through the New Skills for Youth initiative and generously funded by JPMorgan Chase & Co., guides users through nine steps in planning effective interactions with specific stakeholders:
- Step 1: Clarify your goals
- Step 2: Work with partner organizations and ambassadors to identify and engage your stakeholders
- Step 3: Speak to your audience
- Step 4: Use multiple vehicles
- Step 5: Ask for input before decisions are made, and use it
- Step 6: Keep your materials simple and brief
- Step 7: Communicate early and often
- Step 8: Keep your team informed
- Step 9: Turn these new connections into long-term relationships
Each of these steps is designed to guide users through the entire process of building interactions with stakeholders that will explain their efforts thoroughly and present requests for stakeholder assistance clearly and convincingly.
While this tool should not replace broader communications and stakeholder engagement plans, it enhances their effectiveness by allowing for coordination in focusing and formalizing messages and interactions. The tool also helps with prioritization of stakeholder engagement efforts through the use of a stakeholder map that measures the level of support and the level of influence of each stakeholder. By completing this worksheet and keeping all information on stakeholder engagement in this one place, users will be better prepared to implement communications related to CTE and career readiness reforms.
Ashleigh McFadden, State Policy Manager