Jobs to Careers Toolkit: A Step-By-Step Guide to Work-Based Learning

Jobs to Careers Toolkit: A Step-By-Step Guide to Work-Based Learning

Jobs for the Future, 2011

Toolkit Purpose 

The Jobs to Careers Toolkit is a step-by-step guide to designing and implementing work-based learning projects for frontline workers. Work-based learning is an approach to adult education intended to capture, document, formalize, and reward learning that occurs on the job. In work-based learning projects, employers and education and training providers determine the competencies needed for a particular occupation and then structure ways to teach these competencies in a work setting. Once students demonstrate they have mastered such competencies, they can receive academic credit or industry-recognized credentials.

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation in collaboration with Hitachi Foundation and U.S. Department of Labor
Intended Audience 
Job-site practitioners of workforce development: human resources managers, staff developers, and others responsible for employee learning
Career Pathways Target Population 
Low-wage incumbent, frontline workers
Based On 
This toolkit was created in the context of the Jobs to Careers: Promoting Work-Based Learning for Quality Care initiative, a five year pilot project from 2006-2011 which tested models of work-based learning at 17 grantee sites located throughout the country. Though the Jobs to Careers initiative focused on the health care industry, this toolkit also may be useful for planning work-based learning projects in other sectors.
Summary of Toolkit Approach 

The tools, resources, and examples in this toolkit originate in health care, but they should be readily adaptable to other work settings and occupations. This toolkit is organized around four steps for launching and implementing an effective work-based learning project:
- The planning section contains tools and resources to help define the business problem, develop internal employer commitments, build work-based learning partnerships, and recruit students;
- The designing section includes examples of work-based learning from Jobs to Careers and templates to assist stakeholders in designing their own program and curricula;
- The doing section contains examples and tools that Jobs to Careers has used to implement programs and includes topics such as ways to build basic skills and ways to assess mastery of competency; and
- The sustaining section addresses systems change, return on investment, institutionalizing work-based learning products, and continuous improvement.

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