Omaha business support for work -based learning
The purpose of this study was to examine the demographics of Omaha area employers that participate in and do not participate in work-based learning, to determine the reasons why Omaha area businesses participate in work-based learning and to identify the reasons why or why not companies participate in work-based learning.
Two thousand small, medium and large manufacturing and non-manufacturing metro Omaha companies were mailed surveys in reference to their perceptions of work-based learning. Seven hundred ninety-three companies returned surveys for a 39.7% overall return rate. The data were analyzed using SPSS. Descriptive statistics, Chi-square tests for independence and independent t-tests were used to analyze the data.
The results indicated that there is no prototypical business that participates in work-based learning in the Omaha area and that participation in work-based learning is not influenced by either size or type of company, manufacturing or non-manufacturing. The closest profile to an organization that would likely participate in work-based learning is a small, less than 50 employees, non-manufacturing company.
External motivators that impacted participation in work-based learning included contributing to the community, good public relations and a long-term recruiting tool. Internal motivators that impacted participation in work-based learning included support by a company's senior management, department management, and company employees and company image.
The results indicate that both participating and non-participating companies have concerns about participating in work-based learning programs and activities. There were differences in the concerns that work-based learning participants had when compared to the concerns of non-participant companies. Both participant and non-participant companies expressed that work-based learning structural issues were their greatest concerns. These structural concerns included union opposition, employee resistance, economic climate, OSHA/labor laws and coordination problems. Concerns regarding students and their actual participation in work-based learning programs were secondary to the structural issues for both participating and non-participating companies. These secondary concerns included students' leaving the program, student immaturity, student availability and students' lacking skills. These concerns were more pronounced in the participating companies than the non-participating companies.
0514: School administration
0688: Business education