Two positive developments enable CBIA's Education & Workforce Partnership to continue strengthening Connecticut's workforce pipeline through work-based learning opportunities for students.

The partnership was recently named the lead agency for one of just five teams chosen nationwide to participate in the National Skills Coalition Work-Based Learning Academy.

This supports statewide efforts 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," said Andréa Comer, the partnership's vice president of workforce strategies.

STEM Internships

The partnership was also awarded a grant from the Gawlicki Family Foundation of Connecticut.

The $395,532 grant will enhance the paid internship program at Hartford Public High School's Academy of Engineering and Green Technology 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

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 groups become 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.