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Center for American Progress

K-12 Work-Based Learning Opportunities: A 50-State Scan of 2023 Legislative Action
Report

K-12 Work-Based Learning Opportunities: A 50-State Scan of 2023 Legislative Action

Policymakers must work alongside educators and industry leaders to develop high-quality, equitable work-based learning models that bring these opportunities to more students.

In this article
Photo shows a group of students gathered at two tables assembling wooden model homes
Students at a high school in Placentia, California, work on house models during a class to train a workforce ready for the building industry. (Getty/Paul Bersebach/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register)

This report contains a correction.

Introduction and summary

In Indiana, high school students are earning their nursing assistant certifications while on rotation at their local hospitals.1 In Rhode Island, students are learning to code with the guidance of industry mentors.2 In Colorado, students are helping businesses with marketing research and social media.3

These are all examples of work-based learning—an instructional strategy that enhances classroom learning by connecting it to the workplace.4 The modern economy requires more and more adaptation over the course of a person’s career, and exposing students to high-quality work-based learning opportunities helps set them up to be successful lifelong learners, whether they plan to attend college or head into the workforce upon graduation.5 These opportunities not only allow students to find job fields that interest them, but also expose students to the skills necessary to navigate the workforce.

Unfortunately, not all students have equitable access to these valuable opportunities. In a survey conducted by American Student Assistance, 79 percent of high school students expressed interest in participating in work-based learning experiences, but only 34 percent were aware of any opportunities within their age group.6 A Government Accountability Office report on career and technical education (CTE) found that even for students who do have access to these types of opportunities, additional obstacles such as lack of transportation and support services, language barriers, and inflexible scheduling can preclude their participation.7 Establishing a high-quality work-based learning program can be complex because it involves the collaboration and commitment of both schools and local industry to develop opportunities that look quite different from traditional schooling.

Establishing a high-quality work-based learning program can be complex because it involves the collaboration and commitment of both schools and local industry to develop opportunities that look quite different from traditional schooling.

As work-based learning models grow in popularity, it is important for policymakers to work with educators and industry leaders in developing equitable, high-quality programs.

This report analyzes state legislation passed in the 2023 session related to work-based learning in K-12 schools and offers recommendations for policymakers to consider. Five themes emerged in how states are expanding or improving their offerings in this field:

  1. Promoting access to and equity in work-based learning opportunities for marginalized student populations by dismantling barriers to participation and completion
  2. Providing dedicated funding for work-based learning to expand opportunities for students to build relevant career skills and experience
  3. Strengthening work-based learning program requirements and data reporting to promote strong, consistent program quality and identify gaps in learner access and success
  4. Expanding work-based learning opportunities through public-private partnerships to ensure that youth have access to meaningful career-connected learning experiences throughout their education
  5. Altering state-level work-based learning governance structures to promote higher-quality work-based learning opportunities

State policymakers have the opportunity to build upon progress and pursue strategies that develop robust work-based learning programs that ensure equitable access. These strategies should include establishing statewide work-based learning hubs that act as a main resource for educators, employers, students, and families across the state; requiring intermediary functions that can help build bridges between schools and employers; encouraging greater employer involvement in program development and operation to strengthen the outcomes of work-based learning programs; and conducting targeted data collection to identify blind spots and address disparities.

Lack of accessibility and awareness of work-based learning opportunities presents a major obstacle to participation

79%

Share of high school students who expressed interest in participating in work-based learning experiences

34%

Share of high school students who reported being aware of any opportunities within their age group

What is work-based learning?

Navigating the transition from education to the workforce can be challenging for all students—especially for marginalized and low-income students who face additional barriers. High-quality, robust work-based learning programs can help ease this transition and prepare students for the workforce by creating opportunities for hands-on learning in their fields of interest.8 The U.S. Department of Education defines three key components of work-based learning programs: 1) alignment of classroom and workplace learning; 2) application of academic, technical, and employability skills in a work-based setting; and 3) support from classroom or workplace mentors.9 Work-based learning ranges from career exposure to career experience, examples of which include registered apprenticeships, on-the-job training, internships, and job shadowing.10 These opportunities help students find fields they are passionate about while learning job skills, the expectations that exist in the work world, and the behaviors needed to navigate it.

Work-based learning has received increasing attention in recent years from federal, state, and local governments, as well as from private companies and organizations.11 While federal legislation—the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA),12 the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA),13 and the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act (also known as Perkins V)14—incentivizes state and local education agencies to implement work-based learning programs, there is significant variation in strategies states have used to develop their own programs.15 This leads to differences in both availability and quality across the United States, with few students actually reaping the benefits.16 As states continue to grow their work-based learning models, it is important to emphasize the need for equitable, high-quality programs.

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Findings from the state-by-state analysis

In 2023 legislative sessions, 34 states and Washington, D.C., enacted 80 laws relating to work-based learning at the secondary level. The authors identified five qualitative themes among these newly enacted pieces of state legislation. The following analysis explores the types of improvements or expansions these laws made for K-12 students’ access to high-quality, equitable work-based learning programs.

1.  Promoting access to and equity in work-based learning opportunities

Eight states took action to promote access to and success in work-based learning opportunities for marginalized student populations in 2023.17 Dismantling barriers to participation and completion helps ensure that all learners, particularly those who have been historically underserved, are well prepared for college and careers. For example, Virginia’s S.B. 1430, passed in March 2023, requires the state Department of Education to convene a stakeholder work group to make recommendations on reducing barriers and improving access to paid work-based learning experiences for English-language learner students.18 The work group has been asked to identify existing best practices in local schools and consider additional strategies to improve access.

What states are doing

Six states, including Virginia, took targeted action to expand access for specific learner populations, while two others tried to dismantle barriers that prevent equitable participation in work-based learning across the board. Among the states engaging in direct, targeted action, both Missouri19 and New Jersey20 earmarked funds in budget bills for pre-apprenticeship training programs for “minorities and women,” while New Mexico21 and Montana22 passed laws expanding CTE and work-based learning opportunities for Native American students. Colorado23 and Montana24 both made changes to existing programs to direct additional funding toward students from low-income backgrounds completing work-based learning programs.

Florida and Hawaii sought to dismantle barriers for all students engaging in work-based learning. Florida required the state’s Talent Development Council to identify barriers to facilitating work-based learning for middle and high school students, as well as submit a list of best practices and recommendations for targeted financial incentives for students.25 The Hawaii Legislature passed a resolution requesting that the state Department of Labor and Industrial Relations complete a study and report on whether current youth employment policies create barriers to work-based learning opportunities.26

2.  Providing dedicated funding for work-based learning

In total, 15 states provided funding dedicated to work-based learning opportunities in secondary schools within their legislative budgets or in other legislation.27 For example, Washington state dedicated $750,000 annually in its recent budget bill, S.B. 5187.28 The funds will be used for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to contract with a community organization to align project-based and work-based learning opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) sectors with statewide learning standards, tying these learning experiences more closely to classroom instruction.

Additionally, Washington appropriated $1 million annually for contracts with nonprofit organizations that provide one-on-one mentoring programs and career-focused counseling for disadvantaged youth in order to keep these students on track for graduation and future success. Finally, Washington allowed up to $4 million in federal Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) III funding for grants to local education agencies to expand CTE graduation pathway options, including career-connected learning opportunities.

What states are doing

California,29 Illinois,30 Missouri,31 and New Jersey32 each allocated funds to support pre-apprenticeships and youth apprenticeships; meanwhile, California,33 Alabama,34 Washington,35 and Minnesota 36 set money aside for competitive grant programs for local education agencies, institutions of higher education, and/or providers, designed to support and expand work-based learning programs and opportunities statewide. Three states—Kansas,37 New Mexico,38 and Michigan39—provided funding to be used by state agencies for general work-based learning-related activities.

Other states targeted funding to specific work-based learning programs. Florida,40 Michigan,41 Minnesota,42 New Jersey,43 and Vermont44 each allocated funding for programs or initiatives related to work-based learning in their annual budgets, including internships, extracurriculars, career networks, coordination systems, and training programs. Delaware, Idaho, Iowa, and Missouri allocated funding for new work-based learning-related programs:

  • In Delaware, the state budget created the Learning for Careers program to expand employer participation in youth employment programs, including secondary school work-based learning.45
  • Idaho funded the Career Ready Students program to create new opportunities for CTE programs and work-based learning opportunities across the state.46
  • Iowa allocated funds to support the costs associated with creating a statewide clearinghouse for expanding work-based learning.47
  • Missouri directed money from the state’s general revenue fund to create a skills evaluation platform for students in grades eight to 12 to create an online individual career and academic plan and navigate career pathway opportunities.48

3.  Strengthening work-based learning program requirements and data reporting

Programmatic support for work-based learning programs and comprehensive, disaggregated data systems are essential for the success of career-connected learning opportunities.49 These requirements promote strong, consistent program quality and help to identify gaps in learner access to and success in work-based learning opportunities.50 Twelve states passed legislation creating stronger work-based learning program and data collection requirements in order to improve the quality of work-based learning opportunities.51 In particular, state actions focused on providing course credit for work-based learning, improving work-based learning data reporting, and ensuring work-based learning data transparency.

Colorado, for example, passed a law strengthening work-based learning data transparency by requiring apprenticeship programs to submit additional information on wages, credentials earned, program standards, and completion metrics to the state’s publicly accessible apprenticeship resource directory.52 The law also mandated the state Department of Labor and Employment to conduct annual outreach and promote public awareness of the resource directory.

What states are doing

Twelve states have passed legislation to address their program requirements and data reporting by providing credit for work-based learning experiences and/or strengthening data reporting and transparency requirements.

Providing credit for work-based learning

Three states enacted laws encouraging or requiring secondary schools to offer course credit for work-based learning, providing institutionalized academic support for work-based learning experiences, which typically occur outside regular classroom instruction. Florida made CTE eligible for the state’s requirement that students earn one credit in “performing” or “practical” arts, validating career-connected learning as a valuable academic experience.53 North Dakota passed a law simplifying the process for districts to award credit to students in grades six to 12 for educational opportunities outside the classroom, including work-based learning.54 Additionally, Washington state enacted legislation permitting students to meet graduation pathway requirements by completing a performance-based learning experience through which the student demonstrates knowledge and skills in a real-world context, which may include a “work-related experience.”55

Strengthening work-based learning data reporting requirements

Data reporting is critical for ensuring that work-based learning programs are accessible, equitable, and accountable to student learners, employers, and families.56 Five states, including Colorado, as well as Washington, D.C., have passed legislation strengthening their data reporting requirements for work-based learning programs:

  • Washington, D.C., added a new provision to existing law defining college and career preparedness data, including participation in work-based learning programs, as a component of education data.57
  • Indiana created a new requirement for employers to report the employment of students enrolled in work-based learning courses to the state’s Department of Workforce Development.58
  • Maryland now requires the state commissioner of labor and industry to collect and report data on minors with work permits, including students participating in work-based learning and apprenticeships.59
  • Texas tasked the Texas Workforce Commission with developing an annual report on apprenticeship programs in the state, complete with data on the number of participants and recommendations for expanding programs in high-demand industries.60
  • Virginia consolidated statewide workforce program evaluation and data sharing under the newly created Department of Workforce Development and Advancement, while providing additional protections against improper disclosure of data.61

Altering work-based learning data transparency requirements

Alongside comprehensive data reporting, data transparency is key for ensuring that employers, educators, students, and stakeholders can access the necessary information to make informed decisions on how to engage in work-based learning.62 Five states passed legislation strengthening their data transparency requirements in order to provide more families with concrete data on work-based learning opportunities and participation:

  • Alabama enacted the Alabama Credential Quality and Transparency Act to create an open access online registry of educational and occupational credentials, as well as disseminate nonpersonally identifiable student workforce data.63
  • Florida passed a bill requiring that schools notify parents and students of work-based learning opportunities as students develop their personalized academic and career plans starting in middle school.64
  • Maryland’s Job Opportunities for High School Students Act specifies the process of parental approval needed to release minors’ personal information to entities registered with the Maryland Department of Labor, including employers and apprenticeship sponsors, educational programs, and local workforce development boards.65
  • Montana now mandates that districts provide families with information on educational and extracurricular opportunities offered, including CTE courses and work-based learning opportunities.66
  • Wyoming now requires the state Department of Workforce Services to provide information on apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs to secondary school students across the state.67

4.  Expanding work-based learning opportunities through public-private partnerships

Eleven states passed legislation aimed at expanding work-based learning opportunities at the secondary level, making new industries eligible to offer work-based learning, establishing employer incentives for hiring learners, and strengthening work-based learning-focused intermediary networks to bridge the gap between school districts and industry.*68 These actions ensure that middle and high school youth have access to a variety of meaningful career-connected learning experiences.

One example is Idaho, which established the Career Ready Students program in H.B. 267.69 This initiative’s purpose is to create additional CTE programs for students in grades seven to 12; these programs are designed to be responsive to the workforce needs of the community and the state of Idaho overall. Additionally, this law establishes the Idaho Career Ready Students Council in the state Department of Education. The council is in charge of vetting proposals from local education agencies and establishing a process for grant prioritization and awarding. This bill also creates infrastructure for work-based learning opportunities at a statewide level.

What states are doing

Eleven states have passed legislation to expand public-private partnerships in work-based learning by growing the number of industries eligible, enacting employer incentives, and/or strengthening the role of intermediaries.*

Expanding eligible work-based learning industries

Five states enacted provisions expanding work-based learning eligibility to a new industry or sector, creating additional opportunities for students to engage in meaningful work experiences:

  • Colorado passed a law allowing schools and school districts to use grant funds to develop law enforcement internship programs for students.70
  • Connecticut directed the state’s Clean Economy Council to develop a plan for green jobs workforce training, including the development of work-based learning programs at technical education and career high schools for green jobs with workforce shortages.71
  • New Hampshire committed to establishing a marine trades pathway at a regional career technology center.72
  • Washington state enacted legislation allowing school districts to contract with community service organizations or nonprofits to provide work-based learning opportunities for CTE students to build tiny houses for low-income housing initiatives.73
  • West Virginia gave its School Building Authority fund the power to encourage schools to offer work-based learning opportunities for students in school building projects.74

Enacting employer incentives for work-based learning

Three states created new incentives for employers to participate in work-based learning programs, paving the way for expanded cross-sector collaboration. Arkansas75 and Florida76 both extended employer reimbursement for workers’ compensation insurance premiums to cover the cost of offering work-based learning opportunities to public school students, while Florida77 and North Dakota78 created new tax credits for employers who hire apprentices or pre-apprentices—learners who are engaged in preparatory work for registered apprenticeship programs.

Strengthening work-based learning intermediaries

Three states created or strengthened an intermediary network to facilitate public-private partnerships for providing work-based learning opportunities. Arizona’s Department of Education will contract with a nonprofit to provide a career-mapping tool to connect students with apprenticeships, internships, and other work-based learning and career exploration opportunities.79 Colorado created a two-year apprenticeship navigator pilot program, which will be staffed with two full-time apprenticeship navigators charged with raising awareness of registered apprenticeship programs among high school students.80 Utah created an apprenticeship intermediary position to foster relationships between the Talent Ready Utah workforce development program, local education agencies, and industry partners.81

5.  Altering state-level work-based learning governance structures

Six state legislatures passed laws that altered how work-based learning programs are overseen, administered, and/or supported at the state level.82 For example, Nevada’s A.B. 428,83 which was enacted in June 2023, focuses on the teacher workforce, but it also takes steps to expand and strengthen work-based learning across the state. The bill requires the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation to establish a program for paid and unpaid work-based learning opportunities outside school for students enrolled in grades seven to 12 in coordination with the state Department of Education. The program will allow students to receive elective credit for work-based learning opportunities and establishes criteria to evaluate the quality of work-based learning programs. The Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation will also cooperate with the Nevada Department of Education and the Board of Regents of the University of Nevada to enable students to earn up to 12 units of dual credit for approved work-based learning opportunities, meaning that they will receive both high school and college credit.

What states are doing

Six states made specific governance structure changes related to work-based learning at the secondary school level, altering how programs and opportunities are managed and overseen in the hopes of promoting higher-quality work-based learning opportunities. Montana84 and Nevada85 both made changes to the program approval process for new work-based learning programs, including requiring written agreements between students, schools, and employer partners, as well as background checks for employers. Nevada also authorized districts to obtain insurance against liability resulting from students’ participation in work-based learning programs. Indiana established a new definition of modern youth apprenticeship work-based learning programs,86 while Montana changed the state definition of proficiency-based learning, which includes work-based learning.87

Finally, three states focused on statewide initiatives, with California strengthening and defining the role of the state’s College Guidance Initiative,88 Iowa establishing the Iowa Office of Apprenticeship and the Iowa Apprenticeship Council,89 and Maryland establishing the Apprenticeship 2030 Commission to meet state youth apprenticeship participation goals.90

The intersection between work-based learning and child labor laws

As states continue to consider legislation that will expand work-based learning, it is essential that their actions include protections against child labor rather than undermining current federal child labor laws. Between 2021 and 2023, at least 10 states introduced bills rolling back child labor requirements, four of which—Arkansas, Iowa, New Hampshire, and New Jersey—have gone on to sign such legislation into law.91 These laws include provisions extending the allowed number of work hours for minors, lifting restrictions on hazardous work, eliminating parental permission and work certification requirements, and lowering the age at which teenage youth can serve alcohol. States have considered or passed these bills, even as child labor violations across the country have increased 283 percent since fiscal year 2015 and 37 percent in fiscal year 2021 alone.92 These laws have the potential to make work environments, including those providing work-based learning opportunities, less safe for minors—particularly for migrant youth, youth of color, and youth from low-income families, who are especially vulnerable to exploitation in the workforce.

Recommendations

While states have recently made strides to increase the number of work-based learning opportunities, they must do more to include strategies that amplify their reach and center equitable access for all students. This includes centralizing work-based learning resources and designating an intermediary entity to manage relationship building, as well as incentivizing greater employer participation at the inception of programming and increasing the focus on equity in data collection strategies. The following recommendations will help states incorporate these changes into their work-based learning infrastructure.

1.  Establish a statewide work-based learning hub

One of the first steps toward providing accessible, high-quality work-based learning opportunities is for states to better coordinate work-based learning efforts. This can be done by establishing or strengthening work-based learning hubs through centralized government entities, such as boards, offices, or councils, that house work-based learning matters and assume the following responsibilities:

  • Serve as a clearinghouse for work-based learning opportunities
  • Outline the definition of work-based learning in the state
  • Provide quality, evidence-based materials and training
  • Ensure equity of access

Creating or strengthening this governance structure provides a supportive central framework for work-based learning programs across the state seeking support and technical assistance. This support can include developing resources for partnering organizations such as a comprehensive toolkit for running a work-based learning program as well as a website that programs can turn to for research, events, or questions. This website could also allow students to search for potential opportunities by field and location, as well as guidance on navigating their state and/or district programs.

Colorado’s Workforce Development Council (CWDC) is an example of a centralized state government entity that can act as a work-based learning hub through its coordination of work-based learning efforts.93 The CWDC manages work-based learning opportunities across the state and provides guidelines for programming, information for businesses looking to get involved, and funding resources.94 While many organizations in a state can contribute to work-based learning operations, having a hub that defines work-based learning and is responsible for the distribution of materials helps educators, students, and families by giving them a main point of contact for questions and resources.

Streamline the process for transferring work-based learning credits

A crucial part of a hub’s role is making sure that program participants receive tangible benefits from their work-based learning experiences, such as industry certifications or college credit. Part of this includes working with colleges and universities to ensure that students not only receive credit for their work-based learning when appropriate, but also can easily transfer these credits to other colleges—especially in their state. Community colleges have been instrumental in helping students receive recognition for their work-based learning through partnerships with districts and dual-enrollment programs, but whether such recognition counts toward their degree and what hoops they might have to jump through in the process is often too opaque to students.95 Some state efforts, such as in Maryland, are underway to provide better transparency into which courses can transfer between public institutions.96 Such efforts are helpful for high school students who earn credit from community colleges through work-based learning programs and wish to transfer these credits—for example, from a community college to a four-year institution in their state—in their future postsecondary education plans.

2.  Require intermediary functions

Another promising strategy is to require an intermediary function within the work-based learning hub design. Intermediaries are organizations or individual coordinators that aim to augment work-based learning opportunities in their communities through relationship building across sectors.97 Requiring an intermediary creates capacity and structure for building relationships between local organizations and institutions such as businesses, school districts, community and state colleges, nonprofits, and other community-based organizations.98 These entities often have overlapping priorities but do not always directly work with one another. Providing an intermediary structure to establish and monitor these relationships helps to bring these organizations together. Furthermore, it is important that work-based learning intermediaries consider evidence-based structures in their designs.99 Intermediaries should also consider factors affecting their partner programs and employers, such as funding streams available for programming and employer incentives; industry limitations especially around age and safety; and capacity to ensure the success of these partnerships.100

States across the country are realizing that supporting work-based learning is a task that is best done when organizations are collaborating and intermediaries ensure that these partnerships run smoothly. Examples of successful intermediaries include Apprenticeship Carolina101 and the Boston Private Industry Council.102 Apprenticeship Carolina was created to assist the South Carolina Technical College System with reinvigorating South Carolina’s apprenticeship system. The state also has a consultant dedicated to youth apprenticeships that supports more than 100 youth apprenticeship programs in the state.103 The Boston Private Industry Council, partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, connects students—87 percent of whom are students of color—to professional development opportunities, including work-based learning.104

3.  Encourage greater employer involvement in program development and operation

States must increase opportunities for employer involvement in work-based learning program development to help students become successful employees, address the skills gap, and ensure the long-term success of the work-based learning model.105 Obtaining greater employer input—through surveys, convenings, or other methods—at the beginning of the development of a work-based learning program is one way to increase employer participation.106 Other examples of engaging employers include addressing their concerns around the liability of working with students, offering a range of commitment levels, and providing financial incentives.107 Financial incentives in particular can help increase employer buy-in by offsetting the costs of working with students. States should be interested in increasing employer involvement because it helps to build local workforce pipelines and grow the economy.108

4.  Conduct targeted data collection

Targeted data collection, at a local or statewide level, provides context about whom programs are serving and insight into equity of access for underserved groups.109 Some examples of targeted data collection include:

  • Requiring reporting of the number of students enrolled in and successfully completing work-based learning programs across the state, as well as their short-term and long-term education and employment outcomes
  • Mandating data collection, especially at the level of individual work-based learning programs, that speaks to career fields served, employer partners, and student progress
  • Disaggregating data by race/ethnicity, gender, primary language, ability, and socioeconomic status
  • Conducting long-term studies on the effects of work-based learning programs on employment rates and wage levels
  • Ensuring that program data are publicly available in an accessible format to hold programs and their governance structures accountable for student outcomes

Intentional information gathering, with intent to use the data for expanding equity of access, allows work-based learning networks and programs to see who is participating in, benefiting from, and seeing the highest rates of success in their programs. Analysis of those data can help states and organizations identify any blind spots they may have in their work-based learning programs and begin addressing any disparities.

Conclusion

States across the country are promoting and investing in work-based learning, but as they do so, it is important to focus on creating policies that target equity and grow accessibility of these programs. The five themes outlined in this report illustrate how states are already developing work-based learning models. Policymakers should build on these models to further develop best practices and implement policies that strengthen systems and expand access to create meaningful impacts for their students. With strengthened work-based learning models, more students will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful learning opportunities that tap into their interests, better prepare them for the workforce, and increase academic achievement, ultimately strengthening local economies across the United States.

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to thank Emma Lofgren, Marcella Bombardieri, and Veronica Goodman at the Center for American Progress for their valuable contributions to this report.

Methodology

The purpose of this study was to identify themes within state legislation passed in 2023 that expanded or improved work-based learning for K-12 students. The authors searched legislation via Quorum using the following keywords: work-based learning; pre-apprenticeship; apprenticeship; youth apprenticeship; career technical education; internship; and career-connected learning. In addition to these keywords, the authors limited the search to legislation that was passed between December 2022 and July 2023. Following this search, legislation was further pared down by eliminating any pieces of legislation that did not relate to K-12 education; did not expand or improve work-based learning; or did not make any substantial changes to statutes (that is, reauthorized programming previously in existence with no changes).

* Correction, April 2, 2024: This report has been updated to clarify that the number of states that have passed legislation aimed at expanding work-based learning through public-private partnerships is 11.

Endnotes

  1. Marc D. Allan, “2023 HR Impact Awards: Ascension St. Vincent Hospital,” Indianapolis Business Journal, June 23, 2023, available at https://www.ibj.com/articles/2023-hr-impact-awards-ascension-st-vincent-hospital.
  2. Computer Science for Rhode Island, “Create Your Own Work-Based Learning for Computer Science Course,” available at https://www.cs4ri.org/wbl-course (last accessed March 2024).
  3. CareerWise Colorado, “Marketing Coordinator,” available at https://www.careerwisecolorado.org/en/occupations/marketing-coordinator/ (last accessed March 2024).
  4. Perkins Collaborative Resource Network, “Work-Based Learning Tool Kit,” available at https://cte.ed.gov/wbltoolkit/ (last accessed March 2024).
  5. Martha Ross and others, “Work-Based Learning Can Advance Equity and Opportunity for America’s Young People” (Washington: Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program, 2020), available at https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2020/11/20201120_BrookingsMetro_Work-based-learning_Final_Report.pdf.
  6. American Student Assistance, “High School Work-based Learning: Best Practices Designed to Improve Career Readiness Outcomes for Today’s Youth” (Boston: 2022), available at https://asa.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/ASA_WBLPlaybook_Final.pdf.
  7. U.S. Government Accountability Office, “Career and Technical Education: Perspectives on Program Strategies and Challenges” (Washington: 2022), available at https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-22-104544.pdf.
  8. Ross and others, “Work-Based Learning Can Advance Equity and Opportunity for America’s Young People.”
  9. Perkins Collaborative Resource Network, “Work-Based Learning Tool Kit.”
  10. Deborah Kobes, Charlotte Cahill, and Kyle Hartung, “Work-Based Learning Framework,” Jobs for the Future, May 7, 2018, available at https://www.jff.org/idea/work-based-learning-framework/.
  11. American Student Assistance, “Working to Learn and Learning to Work: A state-by-state analysis of high school work-based learning policies” (Boston: 2021), available at https://www.asa.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/Whitepaper_-Working-to-Learn-and-Learning-to-Work.pdf.
  12. Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, Public Law 95, 114th Cong., 1st sess. (December 10, 2015), available at https://www.congress.gov/114/plaws/publ95/PLAW-114publ95.pdf.
  13. Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014, Public Law 128, 113th Cong., 2nd sess. (July 22, 2014), available at https://www.congress.gov/113/plaws/publ128/PLAW-113publ128.pdf.
  14. Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act of 2018, Public Law 224, 115th Cong., 2nd sess. (July 31, 2018), available at https://www.congress.gov/115/statute/STATUTE-132/STATUTE-132-Pg1563.pdf.
  15. American Student Assistance, “Working to Learn and Learning to Work.”
  16. Ross and others, “Work-Based Learning Can Advance Equity and Opportunity for America’s Young People.”
  17. CAP analysis based on 2023 state legislative data from Quorum. Quorum, “Work-based Learning State Laws” (2023), on file with the authors.
  18. English language learner students; reducing barriers to access paid-work based learning experiences, S.B. 1430, Virginia General Assembly (March 24, 2023), available at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?231+sum+SB1430.
  19. An act to appropriate money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, etc., H.B. 3, 102nd Missouri General Assembly, 1st sess. (June 30, 2023), available at https://house.mo.gov/BillContent.aspx?bill=HB3&year=2023&code=R%20.
  20. An Act making appropriations for the support of the State Government and the several public purposes for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024 and regulating the disbursement thereof, Bill A5669, New Jersey General Assembly, 2022-2023 sess. (June 30, 2023), available at https://www.njleg.state.nj.us/bill-search/2022/A5669.
  21. Career Tech Funds For Indian Ed Schools, H.B. 198, 56th New Mexico Legislature, 1st sess. (March 30, 2023), available at https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=H&legType=B&legNo=198&year=23
  22. An act revising the Tribal Computer Programming Boost Scholarship Program, etc., H.B. 346, 68th Montana Legislature (May 18, 2023), available at http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=346&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20231.
  23. Career Development Success Program, S.B. 23-065, 74th Colorado General Assembly, 1st sess. (May 16, 2023), available at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb23-065
  24. An Act revising laws related to advanced opportunity programs, etc., H.B. 257, Montana Legislature (May 18, 2023), available at http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=257&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20231.
  25. An act relating to education, etc., S.B. 240, Florida Legislature (May 3, 2023), available at https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/240/?Tab=BillText.
  26. Requesting the Department of Labor and Industrial Relations to complete a comparative study of its policies on youth employment and federal requirements for youth employment under the Fair Labor Standards Act, H.R. 60, 32nd Hawaii House of Representatives (April 5, 2023), available at https://www.capitol.hawaii.gov/session/archives/measure_indiv_Archives.aspx?billtype=HR&billnumber=60&year=2023.
  27. CAP analysis based on 2023 state legislative data from Quorum. Quorum, “Work-based Learning State Laws.”
  28. Making 2023-2025 fiscal biennium operating appropriations, S.B. 5187, 68th Washington State Legislature (May 16, 2023), available at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=5187&Year=2023.
  29. An act to amend the Budget Act of 2021, A.B. 103, California State Assembly (June 30, 2023), available at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240AB103.
  30. An Act concerning appropriations, S.B. 250, 103rd Illinois General Assembly (June 7, 2023), available at https://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=250&GAID=17&DocTypeID=SB&LegId=143919&SessionID=112&GA=103.
  31. An act to appropriate money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development, etc., H.B. 3, 102nd Missouri General Assembly, 1st sess.
  32. An Act making appropriations for the support of the State Government and the several public purposes for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024 and regulating the disbursement thereof, Bill A5669, New Jersey General Assembly, 2022-2023 sess.
  33. An act to amend the Budget Act of 2021, A.B. 103, California State Assembly.
  34. FY24 Education Trust Fund – Governor’s Rec, S.B. 88, Alabama State Legislature (May 26, 2023), available at https://legiscan.com/AL/drafts/SB88/2023.
  35. Making 2023-2025 fiscal biennium operating appropriations, S.B. 5187, 68th Washington State Legislature.
  36. A bill for an act relating to state government, etc., S.F. 3035, 93rd Minnesota Legislature (May 24, 2023), available at https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF3035&ssn=0&y=2023.
  37. Making and concerning appropriations for fiscal years 2023, 2024, 2025, 2026, 2027 and 2028 for various state agencies, H.B. 2184, Kansas Legislature (April 24, 2023), available at http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2023_24/measures/hb2184/.
  38. General Appropriation Act of 2023, H.B. 2, 56th New Mexico Legislature, 1st sess. (April 7, 2023), available at https://www.nmlegis.gov/Legislation/Legislation?chamber=H&legType=B&legNo=2&year=23.
  39. An act to make, supplement, adjust, and consolidate appropriations for various state departments and agencies, etc., H.B. 4437, 102nd Michigan Legislature (August 22, 2023), available at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(yt4mibmpoxtossgn5r1yc4y3))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=2023-HB-4437.
  40. An act making appropriations, etc., S.B. 2500, Florida Legislature (June 15, 2023), available at https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/2500.
  41. A bill to amend 1979 PA 94, entitled “The state school aid act of 1979”, S.B. 0173, 102nd Michigan Legislature (July 20, 2023), available at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(l3tvlxextdclglkm2kvfa1yb))/mileg.aspx?page=GetObject&objectname=2023-SB-0173.
  42. A bill for an act relating to state government, etc., S.F. 3035, 93rd Minnesota Legislature.
  43. An Act making appropriations for the support of the State Government and the several public purposes for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024 and regulating the disbursement thereof, Bill A5669, New Jersey General Assembly, 2022-2023 sess.
  44. An act relating to making appropriations for the support of government, H. 494, Vermont General Assembly (June 20, 2023), available at https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2024/H.494.
  45. An act making appropriations for the expense of the state government for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2024, etc., H.B. 195, 152nd Delaware General Assembly (June 30, 2023), available at https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail?LegislationId=140610.
  46. An act relating to career technical education, etc., H.B. 267, 67th Idaho Legislature, 1st sess. (March 31, 2023), available at https://legislature.idaho.gov/sessioninfo/2023/legislation/H0267/.
  47. An act relating to and making appropriations to the education system, etc., S.F. 560, Iowa Legislature (June 1, 2023), available at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=SF560&ga=90.
  48. An act to appropriate money for the expenses, grants, refunds, and distributions of the State Board of Education and the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, etc., H.B. 2, 102nd Missouri General Assembly, 1st sess. (June 30, 2023), available at https://house.mo.gov/BillContent.aspx?bill=HB2&year=2023&code=R%20/.
  49. Advance CTE, “Connecting Every Learner: A Framework for States to Increase Access to and Success in Work-based Learning” (Silver Spring, MD: 2021), available at https://careertech.org/resource/connecting-every-learner-a-framework-for-states-to-increase-access-to-and-success-in-work-based-learning/.
  50. Ibid.
  51. CAP analysis based on 2023 state legislative data from Quorum. Quorum, “Work-based Learning State Laws.”
  52. Colorado Apprenticeship Directory Information, S.B. 23-146, 74th Colorado General Assembly, 1st sess. (April 17, 2023), available at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb23-146.
  53. An act relating to education, etc., H.B. 1537, Florida Legislature (May 9, 2023), available at https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/1537/?Tab=BillText.
  54. An act to amend and reenact section 15.1-07-35 of the North Dakota Century Code, relating to alternative curriculum outside of a classroom, H.B. 1521, 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly (March 23, 2023), available at https://www.ndlegis.gov/assembly/68-2023/regular/bill-index/bi1521.html.
  55. Concerning high school graduation pathway options, H.B. 1308, 68th Washington State Legislature (May 9, 2023), available at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1308&Year=2023.
  56. Advance CTE, “State Work-Based Learning Innovation Tracker Analysis” (Silver Spring, MD: 2022), available at https://careertech.org/resource/state-work-based-learning-innovation-tracker-analysis/.
  57. To enact and amend, on an emergency basis, provisions of law necessary to support the Fiscal Year 2024 budget, B. 25-0320, Council of the District of Columbia (July 14, 2023), available at https://lims.dccouncil.gov/Legislation/B25-0320.
  58. An act to amend the Indiana Code concerning education, H.B. 1638, 123rd Indiana General Assembly, 1st sess. (May 5, 2023), available at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2023/bills/house/1638/details.
  59. Employment for Minors – Opportunities for Work, H.B. 0229, Maryland General Assembly (May 3, 2023), available at https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/hb0229?ys=2023rs.
  60. An act relating to a report by the Texas Workforce Commission regarding apprenticeship opportunities in this state for emerging and high-demand industries, H.B. 4451, Texas Legislature (June 11, 2023), available at https://capitol.texas.gov/BillLookup/Text.aspx?LegSess=88R&Bill=HB4451.
  61. Workforce development; consolidation of policies and programs, etc., H.B. 2195, Virginia General Assembly (March 26, 2023), available at https://lis.virginia.gov/cgi-bin/legp604.exe?231+sum+HB2195&231+sum+HB2195.
  62. Advance CTE, “State Work-Based Learning Innovation Tracker Analysis.”
  63. An act relating to credentials and the workforce, etc., H.B. 109, Alabama Legislature (May 26, 2023), available at https://legiscan.com/AL/drafts/HB109/2023.
  64. Guidance Services on Academic and Career Planning, S.B. 196, Florida General Assembly (May 17, 2023), available at https://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2023/196/?Tab=BillText.
  65. Employment for Minors – Opportunities for Work, H.B. 0229, Maryland General Assembly.
  66. An act generally revising laws involving parental rights, etc., S.B. 518, Montana Legislature (May 19, 2023), available at http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=518&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=SB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20231.
  67. An act relating to education, labor and employment, etc., S.F. 0078, 67th Wyoming Legislature (February 18, 2023), available at https://wyoleg.gov/Legislation/2023/SF0078.
  68. CAP analysis based on 2023 state legislative data from Quorum. Quorum, “Work-based Learning State Laws.”
  69. An act relating to career technical education, etc., H.B. 267, 67th Idaho Legislature, 1st sess.
  70. Public Safety Programs Extended Uses, S.B. 23-277, 74th Colorado General Assembly, 1st sess. (June 7, 2023), available at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/sb23-277.
  71. An act establishing a green job corps program, H.B. 6354, Connecticut General Assembly (June 26, 2023), available at https://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/cgabillstatus/cgabillstatus.asp?selBillType=Bill&bill_num=HB6354&which_year=2023.
  72. An act relative to New Hampshire workforce training programs, S.B. 152-FN, New Hampshire General Court (June 20, 2023), available at https://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/bill_status/billinfo.aspx?id=838&inflect=2.
  73. An act relating to increasing local governments’ ability to contract with community service organizations, etc., H.B. 1086, 68th Washington State Legislature (May 4, 2023), available at https://app.leg.wa.gov/billsummary?BillNumber=1086&Year=2023.
  74. An act to repeal §18-9D-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, etc., H.B. 2380, 86th West Virginia Legislature, 1st sess. (March 29, 2023), available at http://www.wvlegislature.gov/bill_status/bills_history.cfm?input=2380&year=2023&sessiontype=rs&btype=bill.
  75. An act to create the LEARNS Act, etc., S.B. 294, 94th Arkansas General Assembly (March 8, 2023), available at https://www.arkleg.state.ar.us/Bills/Detail?ddBienniumSession=2023%2F2023R&measureno=SB294
  76. An act relating to education, etc., S.B. 240, Florida Legislature.
  77. Ibid.
  78. An act to create and enact a new section to chapter 57-38 and a new subdivision to subsection 7 of section 57-38-30.3 of the North Dakota Century Code, etc., H.B. 1383, 68th North Dakota Legislative Assembly (April 21, 2023), available at https://www.ndlegis.gov/assembly/68-2023/regular/bill-index/bi1383.html.
  79. An act amending Section 15-185, Arizona revised statutes, etc., S.B. 1729, 56th Arizona State Legislature, 1st sess. (May 11, 2023), available at https://apps.azleg.gov/BillStatus/BillOverview/79715.
  80. Promotion of Apprenticeships, H.B. 23-1212, 74th Colorado General Assembly, 1st sess. (May 16, 2023), available at http://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb23-1212.
  81. Talent Ready Utah Program Modifications, H.B. 555, Utah State Legislature (March 17, 2023), available at https://le.utah.gov/~2023/bills/static/HB0555.html
  82. CAP analysis based on 2023 state legislative data from Quorum. Quorum, “Work-based Learning State Laws.”
  83. An act relating to economic development, etc., A.B. 428, 82nd Nevada State Assembly (June 15, 2023), available at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/82nd2023/Bill/10397/Overview.
  84. An act revising laws related to work-based learning programs, etc., S.B. 444, 68th Montana Legislature (May 8, 2023), available at http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=444&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=SB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20231.
  85. An act relating to education, etc., A.B. 256, 82nd Nevada State Assembly (June 7, 2023), available at https://www.leg.state.nv.us/App/NELIS/REL/82nd2023/Bill/10020/Text.
  86. An act to amend the Indiana Code concerning education, H.B. 1002, 123rd Indiana General Assembly, 1st sess. (May 4, 2023), available at https://iga.in.gov/legislative/2023/bills/house/1002/details
  87. An act revising laws related to personalized and transformational learning, etc., S.B. 8, 68th Montana Legislature (May 1, 2023), available at https://legiscan.com/MT/bill/SB8/2023.
  88. An act to amend Sections 1240, 2574, 2575.2, etc., S.B. 114, California State Assembly (July 10, 2023), available at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill_id=202320240SB114.
  89. An act relating to apprenticeships and establishing an Iowa Office of Apprenticeship and Iowa Apprenticeship Council, S.F. 318, Iowa Legislature (May 10, 2023), available at https://www.legis.iowa.gov/legislation/BillBook?ba=SF318&ga=90.
  90. Labor and Employment – Apprenticeship 2030 Commission and Representation on the Apprenticeship and Training Council, S.B. 104, Maryland General Assembly (April 24, 2023), available at https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/mgawebsite/Legislation/Details/sb0104?ys=2023rs.
  91. Jennifer Sherer and Nina Mast, “Child labor laws are under attack in states across the country: Amid increasing child labor violations, lawmakers must act to strengthen standards” (Washington: Economic Policy Institute, 2023), available at https://files.epi.org/uploads/263680.pdf.
  92. Ibid.
  93. Colorado Workforce Development Council, “Work-based Learning,” available at https://cwdc.colorado.gov/strategies/work-based-learning (last accessed March 2024).
  94. Colorado Workforce Development Council, “Guides and Frameworks,” available at https://cwdc.colorado.gov/resources/guides-frameworks (last accessed March 2024).
  95. Getting Smart and GPS Education Partners, “Work-based Learning Ecosystems” (Waukesha, WI: 2022), available at https://careertech.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/default/files/files/resources/Work-basedLearning_Ecosystems_WhitePaper_GettingSmartandGPSEd_1121.pdf.
  96. Higher Education – Transfer Platform – Established (Transfer With Success Act 2.0), S.B. 540, 444th Cong. (March 2, 2022), available at https://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2022RS/bills/sb/sb0540T.pdf.
  97. American Institutes for Research, “What Are Work-Based Learning Intermediaries?”, available at https://ccrscenter.org/sites/default/files/WorkBasedLearning_Intermediaries_Definition.pdf (last accessed March 2024).
  98. Ibid.
  99. Getting Smart and GPS Education Partners, “Work-based Learning Ecosystems.”
  100. Education Strategy Group and Partnership to Advance Youth Apprenticeship, “The Critical Role of Intermediary Organizations in Expanding Youth Apprenticeship” (Washington: 2019), available at https://edstrategy.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/ESG-Youth-apprenticeship-12092019-update.pdf.
  101. Apprenticeship Carolina, “Home,” available at https://www.apprenticeshipcarolina.com/ (last accessed March 2024).
  102. Boston Private Industry Council, “Home,” available at https://bostonpic.org/ (last accessed March 2024).
  103. Council of Chief State School Officers, Advance CTE, and New Skills for Youth, “Connecting the Classroom to Careers: A Comprehensive Guide to the State’s Role in Work-based Learning” (Washington: 2016), available at https://careertech.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/01/WBL_Guide_2016_0.pdf.
  104. Khamiah Alderman, “Best Practices for High-Quality Work-Based Learning,” Aurora Institute, July 20, 2023, available at https://aurora-institute.org/cw_post/best-practices-for-high-quality-work-based-learning/.
  105. Getting Smart and GPS Education Partners, “Work-based Learning Ecosystems.”
  106. Perkins Collaborative Resource Network, “Creating a State Work-Based Learning (WBL) Strategy,” available at https://cte.ed.gov/wbltoolkit/strategy.html (last accessed March 2024).
  107. Perkins Collaborative Resource Network, “Engaging Employers,” available at https://cte.ed.gov/wbltoolkit/engaging.html (last accessed March 2024).
  108. Monica Mean and Gabriella C. Gonzalez, “How Work-Based Learning Can Bring Employers and Students Together,” RAND Corp., July 24, 2019, available at https://www.rand.org/pubs/commentary/2019/07/how-work-based-learning-can-bring-employers-and-students.html.
  109. Getting Smart and GPS Education Partners, “Work-based Learning Ecosystems.”

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Authors

Tania Otero Martinez

Policy Analyst, K-12 Education Policy

Allie Pearce

Former Policy Analyst

Team

K-12 Education Policy

The K-12 Education Policy team is committed to developing policies for a new education agenda rooted in principles of opportunity for all and equity in access.

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