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franklin county times

Alabama to mentor states on work-based learning programs

Alabama has been named to a select group of states chosen to mentor other states on building high-quality, work-based learning programs.

This program, through the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, is designed to ensure there are workers to fill jobs in today’s economy and workforce. Work-based learning programs allows student employees the chance to receive on-the-job training for high-demand jobs while simultaneously getting key experiences in technical education, according to an Alabama Works press release.

“Alabama is excited to participate as a mentor state in the third phase of the NGA’s work-based learning Policy Academy due to the remarkable results of our participation in Phase II of the Policy Academy,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “Collaborating with states who are similarly engaged in expanding a currency of valuable credentials, competency-based learning and work-based learning has helped Alabama connect education and the economy by aligning education and workforce programs to employer demand.

“We are eager to share our successes,” Ivey added, “and to learn from the best practices of other states during Phase III of the Policy Academy.”

Alabama will be among five other states – Nevada, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Utah and Washington – in mentoring a group of states in three upcoming labs over the next two years.

These six mentor states were selected based upon prior participation in the Policy Academy on Scaling Work-Based Learning. These states will share the best practices and lessons learned from their experience in the Policy Academy through learning labs.

The labs will focus on using applied data to formulate and structure work-based learning approaches to ensure rural communities and other underrepresented populations have opportunities and access to work-based learning programs.

The learning labs will also focus on building key relationships necessary to expand work-based learning programs.

“This selection by the National Governors Association is a solid indication of Alabama’s commitment to increasing the state’s labor participation rate through the AlabamaWorks initiative,” said Ed Castile, deputy secretary for the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Across the state, we are working with business and industry to expand our efforts in preparing a well-trained, high-skilled, quality workforce.”