- Lockheed Martin and the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) signed an agreement last week that sets UTEP students up with internships at the global security and aerospace company.
- As part of the intern agreement, Lockheed will open a new location in El Paso where the interns will work and also employ UTEP post-grad students as supervisors. The announcement of the agreement touts UTEP's diverse and well-educated base as a reason for Lockheed to establish the program. The company also noted the new location provides an opportunity for existing company employees to work in the area.
- "This partnership with Lockheed Martin will support growth and innovation in the aerospace and defense industries and open the doors of opportunity to a vibrant community of talented, highly trained, highly skilled students," U.S. Representative Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, said in a statement.
In a tough talent market, employers are partnering with schools and local governments to boost community outreach and beef up their talent pipelines. Companies of all backgrounds are getting in on the action. Google recently announced it would bring its IT certification program to 100 U.S. community colleges by 2020 and a number of manufacturers have revealed apprenticeship programs powered by local universities.
One goal of such programs is exposure. Employers in manufacturing, especially, may be at a disadvantage in the talent market due to a lack of interest from young people, leading some companies to partner with local cities to form their own technical schools. IBM did so in New York City in 2017. That gap is also one focus of Lowe's Generation T initiative. The retailer partnered with more than 60 other companies to build a program that would "change societal perception" of careers in the professional trades — a segment that faces severe shortages in some areas.
Such partnerships may continue to expand; a group of chambers of commerce announced this year their own initiative to develop state policy solutions around issues like workforce development and the involvement of secondary education.