The Fayette County Work-Based Learning program (FCWBL) is a workforce development approach that places high school juniors and seniors at worksites that partner with the school system to structure learning experiences to meet individual career development goals. Fayette County Schools partnered with the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, the Carl Vinson Institute of Government, post-secondary education representatives, and multiple industry partners to design a Talent Development and Retention Task Force.
During the 2021–22 school year, Fayette County WBL worked with 90 different employers to locate meaningful placements for over 120 youth. Over half of these internships were paid positions with an average wage of $9.96/ hour.
The WBL program in Fayette is unique in its approach to locating internships for students. Students submit applications and resumes to the Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator, Melanie Duncan. She then takes a look at the students’ discipline, attendance, and transcript before having individual interviews with the applicants. From the interview, work begins to tailor an internship or job for the student based on their career interest and goals.
- Country Fried Creative
- Hall Pass Entertainment
Fayette County WBL is working to recruit more employers who will accept students in their workplace. For example, this year there were 19 engineering applicants, but not enough placement sites to accommodate all of them. The goal is to place every
qualified applicant in an internship so that more students will be exposed to
career opportunities while they are in high school.
“It’s not just about having a place to work; we want to match students with employers who will be mentors in that career field and help them figure out if this is or isn’t the industry for them.”
– MELANIE DUNCAN, Work-Based Learning and Youth Apprenticeship Coordinator
When Workforce Works is an opportunity to tell and highlight successful workforce programs, projects, and initiatives from the MAIP Partner network. These aren’t just any stories about workforce programs, but stories of programs that really get it right – putting industry first, engaging career seekers, and developing deep partnerships – the workforce “secret sauce”.