Hartford Work-Based Learning Network Launches New Website!

Goals / Mission


Hartford’s public/private All IN! Coalition launched the Hartford Work-Based Learning Network (WBLN) in July 2018. Our charge is to serve as a learning community of practice to define and maximize implementation of sustainable Work-Based Learning (WBL) strategies that ensure Hartford high school students’ readiness for post-secondary success in higher education, skills training, and career advancement.

Capital Workforce Partners (CWP) – the regional workforce development board for North Central Connecticut – serves as WBLN’s backbone organization, with additional support from Achieve Hartford.

WBLN partners include:

Goals and Mission

Quality WBL initiatives provide students opportunities to acquire relevant academic, technical and workplace professional skills. Regardless of industry, employers consistently underscore that workers need experience and mastery in key skill areas, with a growing emphasis on developing core employability skills.

To help students in developing these skills, authentic workplace experiences are crucial, combined / integrated with academic study / classroom instruction and other college and career-readiness activities. Guest speakers, career days, career mentoring, workplace tours, informational interviews, job shadowing, mock interviews, workplace challenges, internships, and work experiences, etc. provide real-world context and the opportunity to learn about the workplace in practical terms. Providing authentic workplace experiences and bringing employers into the classroom as part of the readiness process creates powerful learning experiences and deepens students’ education experience.

WBL CAREER Continuum

The WBL sequence of age / grade / developmentally appropriate learning activities and experiences is intended to help students progress from career awareness, to career exploration, to career preparation, resulting in measurable post-secondary readiness. This continuum is purposively designed to be flexible and responsive to changing industry and student needs, with continuous improvements and updates informed through feedback loops between students, businesses, and educators. The WBL system in Hartford emphasizes accessibility and agility through multiple on-/off-ramps to entry for youth needing technical and professional skill development. The three levels of the WBL continuum, and corresponding typical activities are:

  • Career Awareness: Activities designed to promote awareness of careers, workplace norms and employer expectations, and understand personal interest and aptitudes. Typical WBL awareness activities include Guest Speakers, Career Days, Mentoring and Workplace Tours.
  • Career Exploration: Activities designed to promote deeper understanding of potential careers, and provide opportunities to investigate a particular industry, career, or occupation of interest. Typical WBL exploration activities include Employer-Led Projects, Informational Interviews and Job Shadowing.
  • Career Preparation: Activities designed to provide an in-depth discovery of a particular career and developing the skills and understanding of education and training needed to succeed in a particular industry or occupation. Typical WBL preparation activities include Mock Interviews, Internships, Work Experience, Pre-Apprenticeship and Apprenticeship.
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