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Business & Industry Leadership Team

The National Convergence Technology Center's Business & Industry Leadership Team (BILT) meets quarterly to provide insight into employer workforce needs. The BILT consists of executives and technicians, from both large corporations and small companies, who understand the current state of the IT industry nationally and what skills will make graduates employable 12-36 months in the future. Keeping curriculum current with demands from the business world is obviously one of the best ways to get students jobs.

While many schools rely on "advisory boards" to guide curriculum development, too often those groups take a back seat to the decision-making. Not only do some traditional advisory boards meet just once a year, but some can even turn into a passive "rubber stamp" committee that simply agrees to whatever curriculum the faculty proposes. CTC-style BILTs are different in that it's the BILT steering the curriculum, not faculty. An active and engaged BILT provides value for everyone.

For faculty, building relationships with local business leaders ensures their classroom content is current and relevant; creates opportunities for student internships; provides an avenue for guest speakers; and, most importantly, develops pathways to employment for students. Students benefit when businesses and industries know a school's program.

For the businesses, participating in the BILT and building relationships with local high schools, community colleges, and universities creates a pipeline of skilled future employees; provides access to a unique forum to share trends and ideas with other business leaders in a neutral, non-proprietary environment; and generates goodwill by demonstrating a commitment to the region's workforce needs.

Educators Implementing the BILT Model of Business Engagement


In conjunction with the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) and Advancing Credentials Through Career Pathways , the National CTC recently helped develop a special 12-page "toolkit" designed to thoroughly explain the Business and Industry Leadership Team (BILT) process so that educational institutions can more easily implement the model. Active, regular engagement with business and industry experts is essential to make sure program curriculum aligns with workforce needs.

The "Implementing the BILT Model of Business Engagement" toolkit covers the following topics:

  • Benefits of a BILT
  • Influence the creation of a pipeline of skilled future job candidates
  • Essential Elements of a BILT
  • Preparing for Your First BILT Meeting
  • Leadership of the BILT
  • Preparing for a KSA Meeting

Please note that the BILT model works with any technical discipline.

Check out this brochure for more information about the National BILT and its key benefits to your program and your students.


An important role for the BILT is to conduct an annual job skills validation of basic Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities (KSA). This modified DACUM process takes 4-6 hours and can be used for any technical program, at any size college. The process has been used successfully in rural colleges in Nebraska, Iowa, Arkansas, and South Carolina, and in urban college districts in Arizona and Texas. The KSA meeting relies on discussion and a voting process, and both parts are equally important. The vote can be conducted via a manual count of raised hands, but free online Google forms and sheets provides an easier way to automate the vote.

Educators Why join the bilt?

The National CTC finds that getting business and industry to actively co-lead, rather than just advise, a program's focus and curriculum produces positive results for students. The goal is to avoid the pitfalls of traditional business advisory councils that often review curriculum just once a year and may or may not be comprised of business leaders familiar with the desired workforce skills. The benefits for students are obvious, but why would a business or company participate in a BILT?

In an engaged BILT, Business Leaders:

  • Participate in a forum to share trends with other business leaders in a neutral, non-proprietary environment
  • Influence the creation of a pipeline of skilled future job candidates
  • Develop relationships with colleges preparing those future employees
  • Generate goodwill and positive press as the company demonstrates its commitment to workforce needs
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