What are the Types of WBL?
WBL takes several forms, some of which are highlighted below.
On-the-Job Training (OJTs)
This is a formal designation for a work experience developed through a jobs program such as WIOA or TANF. The American Job Center vets candidates and the employer can interview them before agreeing to hire them for a pre-determined amount of time, like maybe eight weeks. For an OJT, workers get paid while they learn on the job, and the businesses don’t need to invest a lot in locating and training people who don’t work out. If an individual does well in an OJT, it’s strongly implied the employer will hire the individual when it’s over.
Paid Work Experiences
This is typically a lower-level experience than an OJT. It’s a pre-determined length of time, say 6 weeks, and there is no expectation that the employer will hire the individual afterward. The goal is to get the individual hands-on experience in a work place setting, so they can practice getting to work on time, being reliable, communicating well, etc. These individuals often have very little, to no experience in a formal work setting.
This is a formal designation for a high-level, long-term (multi-year) work experience in the trades that results in getting a license and becoming a plumber, electrician, carpenter, pipefitter, etc. Many apprenticeship programs are run through trade unions and businesses. Some schooling/classroom work at the community college level is usually a prerequisite. Many apprentices make above average wages and often have full benefits. American Job Centers provide lots of information on how to help people pursue apprenticeships. For more direction, read this previously published blog.
AJC’s most commonly arrange “pre-apprenticeships,” which is a training/WBL solution designed to get individuals into a formal, registered apprenticeship (at that point, they’re out of the AJC system). A pre-apprenticeship helps individuals with barriers to employment get up to speed with the skills they need to be successful in a formal apprenticeship. EDSI’s industry-specific boot camps have many elements of a pre-apprenticeship program. A high-level overview of a pre-apprenticeship framework is laid out here.
This option is typically for college students or individuals in WIOA/TANF Youth programs. Many EDSI-run programs offer paid work experience plus extra activities to shore up participants’ soft skills. Youth may be in-school or out-of-school, or studying for a GED. An internship is usually in a field that corresponds with what the student is studying in school.