Two positive developments enable CBIA's Education & Workforce Partnership to continue strengthening the pipeline of Connecticut's job force through work-based learning opportunities for students at Hartford Public High School's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology and beyond.

Andréa Comer, vice president of workforce strategies for the Education & Workforce Partnership, announced the partnership is the lead agency for one of just five teams chosen nationwide to participate in the National Skills Coalition Work-Based Learning Academy.

This will support efforts statewide to coordinate work-based learning initiatives for low-income communities in Connecticut. Also involved is Capital Workforce Partners, the Connecticut Department of Labor, the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities and the Connecticut Technical and Career Education System.

"We are thrilled to receive this designation, which ensures that the state will have a coordinated approach to serving youth and young adults through work-based learning experiences," Comer said.

In addition, the Gawlicki Family Foundation of Connecticut awarded the partnership a $395,532 grant to enhance the Academy of Engineering and Green Technology's paid internship program and increase STEM internships from 50 to 75 in the first year, and from 75 to 100 in the second year.

It also allows the academy to develop work-based learning milestones.

"We are so grateful to the Gawlicki Family Foundation for their grant, which allows us to expand work-based learning opportunities to even more students through internships," Comer said.

"CBIA's members have consistently cited the need for incoming employees to have exposure to the world of work, and this will ensure they get that experience."

Work-based learning combines instruction at a worksite during paid employment with classroom education, and culminates with an industry-recognized credential.

The partnership's work-based learning team will focus on developing and advancing state-level policies to fund work-based learning intermediaries or opportunities to modify existing state sector partnership grant programs to help partnerships become work-based learning intermediaries.

The team will develop a work-based learning policy proposal for Connecticut and implement a strategy for getting that proposal adopted by state policymakers and agencies.

The CBIA Education & Workforce Partnership works with member businesses and other groups statewide to strengthen the talent pipeline and encourage economic growth in order to support the development of a skilled, knowledgeable workforce in Connecticut.