National Skills Coalition is pleased to announce the five state teams that have been selected to participate in our 2018-2019 Work-Based Learning Academy: Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, and Washington. Through the Academy, state teams will advance state policies to expand work-based learning opportunities for low-income communities. Teams will work together with faculty advisors and participate in peer-to-peer learning.
Work-based learning helps workers build new skills while earning a paycheck. Through work-based learning models like apprenticeship, the skills that workers build can translate into higher wages and industry-recognized credentials. Work-based learning is an issue of increasing interest among state policy leaders, spurred by federal investment, attention to apprenticeship by the previous and current Presidential administrations, and state-level technical assistance projects. While some states have adopted policies to support apprenticeship, few have policies aimed at expanding work-based learning opportunities for low-income adults and out-of-school youth. Expanding work-based learning to these communities would allow low-wage workers to advance to good jobs and help employers train a skilled workforce.
Some state teams will work on state programs to support work-based learning intermediaries. Intermediaries can help employers establish apprenticeship and work-based learning programs; they also serve as the connection point between business, education and training programs, and workers to streamline services and increase capacity to serve more people. Other teams will focus on state polices to provide support services, like childcare, transportation, and career navigation, to help people succeed in work-based learning.
The selected five state teams are:
- Connecticut Business and Industry Association’s Education and Workforce Partnership
- Connecticut Department of Labor
- Capital Workforce Partners
- Connecticut State Colleges and University System
- Connecticut Technical Education and Career System
- Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
- Associated Builders and Contractors
- Young Invincibles
- Chicago Jobs Council
- Harold Washington College
- Indiana Institute for Working Families
- Indiana Department of Workforce Development
- REAL Services Inc.
- United Way of Howard County
- Indiana Family and Social Services Administration
- Oklahoma Office of Workforce Development
- Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy
- Oklahoma City Black Chamber of Commerce
- Oklahoma Association of Community Action Agencies
- Washington State Department of Social and Health Services
- Washington State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
- Construction Center of Excellence
Teams will be partnered with faculty advisors who are experienced in their field of interest. The Academy’s faculty advisors are:
- Earl Buford, Partner4Work
- Susan Crane, SkillUp Washington
- Mark Kessenich, Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership
- Pat Steele, Central Iowa Works
- Matt Williams, Mississippi Low-Income Child Care Initiative
The Work-Based Learning Academy will begin with a kick-off event in Milwaukee, WI on June 5-6, which will include a site visit at Wisconsin Regional Training Partnership. The Academy will run from June 2018 – June 2019. If you are interested in learning more about the Academy or NSC’s work on work-based learning in the states, please contact state network manager Rachel Hirsch at firstname.lastname@example.org.