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Work-based learning programs are not developed by an education partner in isolation: they require partnerships that include at least one education provider and one employer. Additionally, a workforce intermediary, such as a business or professional association or a labor/management training partnership, may effectively convene partners, obtain resources, and perform other functions. Broader partnerships that include a wide variety of employers are preferable: they offer opportunities to serve more workers and aggregate the workforce needs of a region’s employers. However, these partnerships do not arise automatically. They require hard work on the part of all members of the partnership well before the actual training begins. In planning a partnership, developers of work-based learning projects need to consider questions such as:
  • Who are the partner organizations? What are their roles and responsibilities?
  • What other organizations must be on board in order to fulfill the partnership’s vision?
  • What are the roles for each partner?
  • Who will be the lead person from each organization?
  • What contributions are expected from each partner?
  • How will this partnership make decisions?
  • How will communication occur between and among all the partners?
(For more on planning partnerships, see the Jobs to Careers Milestone Tool)


Building a Broad Partnership

Unions representing frontline workers can be vital contributors to successful work-based learning projects, as demonstrated by the Jobs to Careers project in Philadelphia, PA, led by the District 1199C Training and Upgrading Fund, a labor/management partnership. In this project, which provided extensive, competency-based training to hospital and residentially-based mental health workers, union representatives discussed pending training initiatives and ensured that training and associated wage progressions would be equitable for all. The training fund initiated and managed the project, as well as providing instructiors for both clinical and basic skills courses. 
For more on gaining frontline worker commitment in a union environment, see Development of Internal Commitment.

BACH partnership slide
Partnerships in Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare
Advancing in Health and Health Care Careers—Rung by Rung

In Baltimore, Maryland, the Jobs to Careers partnership included four hospitals, each actively represented by a member of senior leadership, the local community college, and the Baltimore Alliance for Careers in Healthcare (BACH), a nonprofit that has extensive experience organizing training for career advancement for frontline health care workers.

Forming a Steering Committee

Replication-Implementation plan document
Jobs to Careers in Community-based Care

In Portland, Oregon, the Jobs to Careers project formed a steering committee early on to guide the development of its program. The committee, which included stakeholders from both the public and private sectors and relevant professional associations, developed a common vision with benchmarks for the Jobs to Careers program.