Johnson and Johnson Employment Initiative

The Johnson & Johnson bridge to employment initiative: building sustainable community education partnerships
Michael Bzdak

Michael Bzdak is based at Corporate Contributions, Johnson & Johnson, New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA.

Abstract Purpose – This paper seeks to demonstrate that a specific business/education partnership model – bridge to employment (BTE) – benefits society by re-establishing the critical connection between academic achievement and practical application, i.e. the connection between the world of school and the world of work. Representatives of the corporation engage community stakeholders to identify opportunities in the schools where Johnson & Johnson support and volunteerism can help make a difference in the lives of young people. Design/methodology/approach – The paper reports on an existing school to career program that was developed in the USA but has recently been adapted to meet the needs of Ireland’s education community. Findings – Past research has shown the importance of linking academic studies with real world applications to improve educational outcomes for pre-college students. The BTE program has been shown to have positive benefits for students, schools, communities and Johnson & Johnson employees. In addition, BTE may provide a possible solution to the declining number of students pursuing health care careers. Originality/value – This paper looks at a unique US-based business/education intervention from the perspective of stakeholder engagement. Second, the paper provides an example of a US education model’s application to a European Union context. Keywords Schools, Careers, Employees, Health education Paper type Case study

he Bridge to Employment Program was established in 1992 within the office of Corporate Contributions at Johnson & Johnson to expose young people to health care careers and to help them understand and experience careers in real-work settings. As part of a community responsibility strategy, the corporation...