Scaling High-Quality Work-Based Learning

Policy Academy On Scaling Work-Based Learning

The NGA Center for Best Practices, with support from the Siemens Foundation, is assisting states in scaling high quality work-based learning programs for youth and young adults in STEM-intensive industries such as advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and energy. Currently in Phase III, since 2016 the Academy has engaged 23 states and one territory through a mix of intensive technical assistance, peer learning and topic-based learning labs.

Broad economic disruption is changing work, workers and workplaces at an accelerated pace. These disruptive forces include technological advancement, artificial intelligence, globalization and labor force demographics, all of which contribute to the changing nature of work and the types of work that may be available in the near future.

Governors and other state leaders recognize that their residents must be better prepared to keep pace with and adapt to change and new technological disruptions throughout their careers. In this climate of disruption, these leaders are pursuing strategies to identify and scale high-quality education and training programs to prepare their residents for good jobs. One such promising strategy is work-based learning.

Work-based learning connects classroom education with on-the-job experience that states can deploy to help businesses and workers better meet their current needs while enhancing states’ ability to prepare their future workforce for success. Moreover, as the nature of work and careers changes, work-based learning can prepare students to engage in active learning both at work and in the classroom and develop new skills throughout their careers.

Governors increasingly value work-based learning as a key strategy to strengthen their talent pipelines and prepare their future workforce for success.

Featured Publication

Advancing Equitable Access To And Success In Work-Based Learning

The economic and societal instability from COVID-19 revealed the inequities in our education and workforce systems and forced policymakers to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that programs remained accessible.

This brief looks at how states are improving equitable access to work-based learning.


State Work-Based Learning Websites

Click on a state to be directed to their work-based learning initiatives and programs.

  • MENTOR STATES have been selected to share best practices with new states in Phase III.
  • LEARNING LAB STATES are participating in intensive technical assistance with Mentor States focused on different topics including adapting work-based learning during the pandemic and using work-based learning as a catalyst for economic recovery
  • States that participated in Phase I or Phase II of the Policy Academy

Publications

state strategies to scale work-based learning

State Strategies for Scaling Work-Based Learning

“State Strategies for Scaling Work-Based Learning: Lessons Learned from an NGA Policy Academy” provides greater detail on how governors can lead and ...
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Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs for All Americans

Governor’s Action Guide to Achieving Good Jobs for All Americans

This guide offers a toolbox of high-impact strategies that governors can take to connect workers to good jobs today and in the ...
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States Continue Advancing Strategies to Scale Work-Based Learning

States Continue Advancing Strategies to Scale Work-Based Learning

Summary States increasingly need a more highly skilled workforce to meet the requirements of businesses, keep up with a rapidly changing economy ...
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States Continue Advancing Strategies to Scale Work-Based Learning

States Continue Advancing Strategies to Scale Work-Based Learning

This paper is a guide for how governors can lead the way on expanding work-based learning opportunities as part of a pathway ...
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Developing Talent in Rural America through Work-based Learning Experiences

Developing Talent in Rural America through Work-based Learning Experiences

As rural communities struggle to grow their economies and retain skilled labor, work-based learning experiences such as internships and apprenticeships offer a ...
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State Strategies to Scale Quality Work-Based Learning

State Strategies to Scale Quality Work-Based Learning

Industries in every state are struggling to find qualified applicants for jobs, while job seekers too often find they lack the skills ...
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Meetings/Webinars

Work-Based Learning Policy Academy Cross-State Meeting

Work-Based Learning Policy Academy Cross-State Meeting

January 17-19, 2018 | Indianapolis, IN The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) hosted a policy academy meeting focused ...
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Work-Based Learning Policy Academy TA Webinar Series

Work-Based Learning Policy Academy TA Webinar Series

This webinar series, which ran from Jan 2016 to April 2017 looked at the following work-based learn topics: Measurement, Enhancement, Registered Apprenticeship ...
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Tools & Resources

External Resources

Contact us

For more information, questions, or requests, please contact Rachel Hirsch, senior policy analyst.

Related NGA Initiatives

  • Since March of 2020, Governors have taken action to address once-in-a-lifetime economic circumstances by providing assistance to displaced small businesses and workers, while putting in place longer-term supports to help Americans succeed in a changing world of work. The State Equitable Recovery Coalition, will build on these initiatives and others to connect strategically to maximize networks, expertise and resources on behalf of the Governors of states and territories and the workers they represent.
  • NGA is providing comprehensive support and assistance to all American Apprenticeship Initiative grantees in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, with additional support from the Siemens Foundation.
  • NGA is a partner on New America’s Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship.
  • NGA is a partner on the American Association of Community College’s Expanding Community College Apprenticeships project