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Layer 10

 

SUSTAINING

Sustainability is a critical challenge for workforce development programs, which often originate with grants or public start-up funds.

Continuing the work requires commitments from employers as well as from their partners.

Jobs to Careers addressed sustainability in four primary ways:
  • Systems ChangesBy changing the systems that affect worker education and training, benefits can continue after grant funding ends. When a project begins, systems—at each employer or educational organization—may discourage innovations in training employees. Addressing these barriers makes it easier to sustain and enhance improvements in training that use work-based learning and other nontraditional program elements.
  • Return on Investment and Business Value Assessment: Employers are more likely to continue investing in work-based learning if they see a bottom-line value. Work-based learning programs must demonstrate that they can produce business results and that they are more effective than traditional training.
  • Institutionalizing Work-based Learning Products: Even if it is not feasible or desirable to sustain a complete program, many of its elements may still be of use, and newly developed mechanisms can continue to have value. For example, a number of Jobs to Careers products can be used to deliver work-based learning and ensure the award of academic credit when appropriate.
  • Continuous Improvement: Creating an effective work-based learning experience is always a work in progress. As project leaders and staff encounter barriers to the success of their programs, they make adjustments and undertake new strategies.

KEY RESOURCES

The Jobs to Careers Sustainability Tool (interactive tool)
Work-based learning programs use this tool to help them plan how to sustain a project. It includes a blank template and examples from Jobs to Careers. (Click here for printable version.)