Employer Institute

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Much is being said about the expected - and current - challenges associated with our future workforce.

Are you ready for the Future of Work?


The Employer Institute for the Future of Work and Talent Strategy leverages the University of Cincinnati's expertise with that of corporate and community partners to co-create credentialed workshops, seminars and courses to address both your organization's talent strategy and up-skilling and re-skilling your current workforce.

As the founder of cooperative education more than 100 years ago, and currently the number one public university for co-ops and internships in the U.S., the University of Cincinnati is uniquely suited to partner with industry and community organizations to address the needs of a workforce that is being disrupted through innovation and technology. Such innovation, coupled with changing generational dynamics, has created new challenges that can only be met by industry and higher education working collaboratively.

The Employer Institute for the Future of Work and Talent Strategy invests in learning opportunities designed to prepare companies, employees and students for advances in the world of work.

Workshops, seminars and courses will be offered on campus, online and even at your site.

Opportunities we plan to offer are listed below.

Talent Strategy Learning Opportunities

Whether you're a small company with no formal talent strategy or a Fortune 500 that recruits hundreds of students each year, making sure your student recruitment plans align with the goals and mission of your company is essential to competing in today’s challenging and dynamic job market. To stay relevant, companies will need a student talent strategy that focuses on partnerships and that will attract, retain and support students from diverse backgrounds.

Co-op has been shown to be the most impactful form of work-integrated learning because it links relevant, meaningful work experiences and expert mentorship to strong academic preparation. To build a successful co-op program that boosts KPIs such as retention to full-time hire, companies need a co-op model that addresses cost, workforce planning, job development, recruitment, assessment and mentoring.

The generation now coming into the workforce has different expectations from any generation before them. They expect a more technological work environment, a blending of work and leisure time, more specialization and a culture of innovation. On average, individuals in this generation stay with the same company for only 16 months. A comprehensive talent retention strategy addresses ways to retain full-time employees as well as how to retain students from one co-op semester to another and how to convert co-op students to full-time hires.

One of the number one requests from employers is increasing diversity among their job candidates. But attracting a diverse workforce goes well beyond simply searching for more women and underrepresented minorities to interview and hire. Addressing your company's internal environment as a supportive and welcoming place for women and underrepresented minorities is the first step in attracting a diverse workforce.

The workforce now has multiple generations working together toward common goals. We all know that while this is ideal for developing a strong company, it has its challenges. Newer generations have different expectations when it comes to how and when work gets done, and older generations want to pass on their knowledge and experience. Developing programs and work opportunities to address the generational gap is essential to maintaining a competitive workforce.

A key strategy to developing a strong talent retention program is providing learning opportunities for your employees who supervise co-ops and interns. Supervisors today serve not only as managers and task directors, they are also mentors and coaches. Being a mentor or coach is incredibly fulfilling and provides opportunities for learning as well as improves retention and co-op satisfaction.

All universities that receive federal aid are required by law to adhere to Title IX and non-discrimination practices. When co-op or internship students experience gender, racial or other forms of discrimination, the university is duty-bound to investigate and remediate the situation. The University can help you better understand your obligations under Title IX and can work with you to develop non-discrimination best practices.

One of the most challenging tasks of attracting and recruiting from Generation Z is getting your brand to break through the noise. How does your brand stack up and how is it understood by a newer generation of students that absorb media from a multitude of sources, whether social media, ads or product awareness. Developing a brand strategy for recruitment is essential if you want to attract and recruit top talent from Generation Z.

Up-Skill and Re-Skill Your Workforce

Prepare your workforce to use Agile methods and get the most out of your product development lifecycle. Have your employees complete in-depth learning in Agile methodologies and prepare for certification exams.

One of the greatest threats to information security is the vulnerability of your own workforce. Gain training on essential cybersecurity concepts so your entire workforce, regardless of role, is prepared for the threats of tomorrow.

Learn basic, intermediate and advanced skills in Salesforce development. Employees can earn industry-recognized certifications as Salesforce Administrators, Consultants or Developers.

Automation, digitization and global access to information has fundamentally altered how we work. Make sure your workforce is ready by providing fundamental digital skills training.

The University of Cincinnati has partnered with IBM to offer emerging and developing learners IBM credentials in Data Science, Cybersecurity, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things, Blockchain, and Artificial Intelligence.

One of the most highly-sought roles on a project team is DevOps. Your workforce can learn the essentials of DevOps and earn a certificate that will prepare them to take on a DevOps role in your company.

The University of Cincinnati offers industry-recognized certification training programs, designed to prepare your workforce to sit for certification exams. Current trainings include CompTIA, IT Support, Cisco and Microsoft. Trainings being developed include AWS, Google and Ethical Hacker.

Nobody knows your business and what your workforce needs like you do. Work with the University of Cincinnati to customize a solution that meets the demands of your future workforce that can include digital skills training, professional development and certification.

Headshot of Todd J. Foley, PhD

Todd J. Foley, PhD

Associate Professor and Director, Digital Innovation Initiatives