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Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning and National Governors Association

In 2016 Washington was awarded a $100,000 grant from the National Governors Association to create a policy framework to increase work-based learning for youth ages 16-29, particularly in STEM fields. The Workforce Board was honored to be asked by Governor Inslee to lead the effort on the policy academy. The Workforce Board and the Governor's Office co-chair the Core Team. (See sidebar.)


Policy Academy Extended into Second Phase

Washington has been awarded an additional $40,000 to participate in a second phase of the Policy Academy on Work-Based Learning, providing guidance to other states as a "leader state." Leader states will focus on implementing their plans to increase work-based learning opportunities, and will also provide guidance to states newly entering phase 1.


Seven policies to focus on:

  • Develop a public-private partnership to create a long-term, high impact career-ready system.
  • Increase access to training and resources.
  • Build connections between industry and educators.
  • Expand and support career connected learning access in rural and underserved communities.
  • Build stronger mentorship programs.
  • Strengthen High School and Beyond Plan.
  • Expand awareness of and access to registered youth/adult apprenticeships.


NGA Policy Academy Framework



Six states involved

Six states, including Washington, were selected to participate in the original policy academy. The other states include: Indiana, Iowa, Montana, New Hampshire, and Utah. These states are working together to develop individual state policies, share what they've learned, and look for federal policy reform opportunities.

State Core Team Members

  • Association of Washington Business
  • Department of Commerce
  • Department of Social and Health Services
  • Employment Security Department
  • Governor's Office
  • Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
  • State Board for Community and Technical Colleges
  • Washington Student Achievement Council
  • Washington STEM
  • Workforce Board

View the complete list of Core and Home Team Members


Phase II Meetings and Materials

February 20, 2018



View past meeting materials



Governor's Summit Draws Participants from Across the State

Industry, policy, and education leaders are working to increase career-related opportunities to prepare Washington youth for high-demand jobs.The 18-month Policy Academy culminated with a Governor's Summit on Career-Connected Learning May 31 at Microsoft in Redmond.

More than two dozen regional sites hosted locally driven meetings and connected to the central site through a live feed, so they could focus on local issues and hear from top experts at the same time.

View the recorded feed from the event

The Summit was hosted by the Workforce Board, Governor Inslee, Washington STEM, Washington State University Extension, and the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.


Work-based learning longtime goal

Increasing access to work-based learning is a longstanding initiative of the Workforce Board and its Core Team partners. The Policy Academy will work to connect young adults to middle-skill opportunities in STEM fields, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare, IT, and energy.


Read the news release about 21 "learning laboratories" selected by Gov. Inslee, Washington STEM and the Workforce Board awarded funding to explore best practices in career-connected learning.



Winning poster from 2016 Utah conference: The Workforce Board's poster on work-based learning challenges and solutions won first place among six states. Check it out!

One Sheet on Initiative (PDF) NEW

Information on Learning Laboratories (PDF)

Preliminary Performance Assessment Plan (PDF)

Proposed Work-Based Learning Definition (PDF)

STEM Middle Skill Labor Market Outlook (PDF)

Career Connect Washington Policy Framework (PDF)

Lessons in Career Connected Learning (PDF)


Staff contact: Nova Gattman, Workforce Board Legislative Director, (360) 709-4612



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