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PLANNING

Careful planning is critical to the success of work-based learning.

This upfront investment of time and energy makes implementation more efficient, builds commitment from project partners, and results in a better-prepared cohort of students ready to achieve during the program implementation.

In Jobs to Careers, employers, educators, and other key partners collaborated during the planning process to develop a vision and measures of success.




Click on the headings below and to the left of the page to access resources on the four elements of planning work-based learning programs:
  • Defining the Business Problem: Effective employee training benefits employees and contributes to success for employers. After identifying an interest in work-based learning, the first step is to identify the employer’s most critical human resources needs. This assessment identifies specific occupations, as well as specific skill and education requirements, whether immediate or projected for the near future.
  • Development of Internal Commitment: Work-based that has support from the employer at all levels of the organization, particularly the highest levels of leadership, have the best chance of success. Developing this internal commitment requires a conscious effort by the partnership during the planning phase and throughout a project’s life.
  • Partnership Building: A work-based learning partnership includes at least one education provider and one employer. Often, a workforce intermediary (for example, a business association or a labor-management partnership) adds value to the partnership, for example, by convening partners and obtaining resources. Broad partnerships, with a variety of employers, are preferable: they can serve more workers and aggregate the needs of employers.
  • Cohort Selection and Recruitment: Recruiting employee participants requires cooperation at the workplace, including buy-in from managers and supervisors. Other partners (e.g., community colleges) contribute on such matters as assessing academic readiness and identifying employees’ career interests and personal barriers to success.

KEY RESOURCES

The Jobs to Careers Milestone Tool (interactive tool)
Use this project-management tool to plan and document the key activities and major milestones for each element of a work-based learning project. The tool specifies program elements for each partner and the timeframes for completing each element. This step-by-step process keeps a project on track. (Click here for printable version.)

The Jobs to Careers Educational Institution and Workforce Intermediary Self-Assessment Tool (interactive tool)
Educational and intermediary partners use this tool to assess their own readiness for implementing innovations in work-based learning and career pathway initiatives. The goal is to assess strengths and limitations related to policies, practices, and processes that are likely to contribute to the success of such initiatives. After completing the tool, organizations can address areas of weakness. This tool was developed by Jennifer Craft Morgan and Bob Konrad of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the evaluation team for Jobs to Careers. (Click here for printable version.)

The Jobs to Careers Employer Self-Assessment Tool (interactive tool)
Employers use this tool to assess their own readiness for implementing innovations in work-based learning and career pathway initiatives. The goal is to assess strengths and limitations related to policies, practices, and processes that are likely to contribute to the success of such initiatives. After completing the tool, organizations can address areas of weakness. This tool was developed by Jennifer Craft Morgan and Bob Konrad of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, who led the evaluation team for Jobs to Careers. (Click here for printable version.)

Guides to Work-based Learning
In Alaska, Jobs to Careers created guides to work-based learning for clinicians (the frontline supervisors in the program) and local site coordinators. These guides describe the program and the educational methodology of work-based learning. They also answer many questions frequently asked by key stakeholders.