A Public-Private Partnership Designed to Improve Student Soft Skills: The Johnson & Johnson Bridge-to-Employment Program

  • Radha Jagannathan Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Michael J. Camasso Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
  • Michael J. Bzdak Johnson & Johnson
  • Gayatri Gadag

Abstract

In this paper we describe a corporate-education partnership between Johnson & Johnson and disadvantaged public schools called Bridge-to-Employment (BTE) and examine the program’s impact on student acquisition of soft or non-cognitive, school-to-career transition skills. We model the differences in the attainment levels of eight soft skills in a sample of 236 BTE and 308 Comparison students from 10 BTE program sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. Using cross-site trajectory analysis, we find that BTE participation had a positive impact on BTE students’ communication skills, perceived readiness for an immediate job, readiness for career, teamwork, and persistence in pursuing a task/goal (grit). BTE did not have an impact on students’ problem solving skills, readiness for college or ability to set long-term goals. We discuss the possible reasons for these mixed results and the need for encouraging more direct business-public school partnerships to address the growing knowledge and skills gaps facing our nation.

Author Biography

Radha Jagannathan, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey

Professor of Statistics, Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning & Public Policy

Published
2020-02-26
Section
Research Articles