Danville’s Institute for Advanced Learning and Research awarded over $581K to support work-based learning


Students at the 2019 Career ChoICE Youth Expo visit the booth of Sartomer (Chatham), a division of Arkema Inc., for a hands-on introduction to careers in advanced materials and chemical manufacturing. The Expo exposes youth to the 17 career clusters, and it serves as one component of the newly funded ExperienceWorks work-based learning system framework to be led by the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research. (Image courtesy of the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research).

DANVILLE, Va. (WFXR) – The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR) was recently awarded over $581,000 to lead ExperienceWorks, a work-based learning (WBL) system that leverages Go VirginiaRegion 3 and Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission (TRRC) investments.

The system connects students and young adults to high-skill, high-wage employment opportunities through a variety of career development and WBL opportunities.

The TRRC grant funds will support 50 percent of an Apprenticeship Coordinator position adding capacity for employer outreach and developing apprenticeship positions in partnership with regional employers.

“We are grateful for these investments supporting robust public and private partnerships that are required to launch the ExperienceWorks framework. ExperienceWorks aligns existing career development programs and adds capacity, providing multiple opportunities for employers to engage with students and offer hands-on, career-relevant learning and mentoring.” Brown adds, “The participating school divisions are excited about this opportunity to continue collaborating on programs which benefit their students, faculty, and the region’s business community. We’re thankful that the GO Virginia Region 3 Council, the GO Virginia State Board, the Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission recognized and endorsed their efforts.”

Dr. Julie Brown, Director of Advanced Learning at the IALR

The mission is to scale WBL efforts, allowing 100 percent of high school graduates to access a high-quality WBL experience and create a sustained pathway that connects employers to their emerging workforce.

The initiative is targeted to high school juniors and seniors and is designed to create a culture of understanding that internships and apprenticeships are for everyone, with a clear benefit for employers and job seekers.

Goals of ExperienceWorks include:

  • Increased student awareness of career opportunities in strategic industry sectors;
  • Improved student and young adult work readiness skills aligned with business expectations;
  • Meaningful work experience for students and young adults in strategic sectors;
  • Increased teacher and counselor awareness of careers and business needs;
  • Work-based learning system sustained and supported by employers.

Participating K-12 divisions include Amelia, Brunswick, Charlotte, Cumberland, Danville, Halifax, Henry, Lunenburg, Martinsville, Mecklenburg, Nottoway, Patrick, Pittsylvania and Prince Edward.

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