What is Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning gives students an opportunity to apply what they're learning in the classroom and lab with hands-on experiences in real-world job applications. It has benefits not just for employers, students, and job seekers but also for educators and service providers.

Driven by data, best practices — and student and industry needs

Minnesota State developed the benefits and activities of work-based learning in partnership with the National Governors Association, Minnesota's Departments of Labor and Industry, Education, Employment and Economic Development, along with other education partners.

The goal of this collaborative effort was to create a framework for the development and evaluation of credentials that would not only provide an effective and equitable education to the diverse pool of learners we're actively working to recruit — but would also be recognized across agencies and educational providers.

The end result? People who are better prepared for success in their chosen careers and industries. And employers with access to qualified applicants, educators satisfied there's no student without access to quality education, and a workforce capable of fueling economic growth in Minnesota.

Work-Based Learning Resources for Employers

Work-based learning gives employers the benefit of:

  • Immediate productivity from work-based learning hires
  • Workers who arrive with essential "soft skills"
  • Early access to a robust, innovative, and diverse talent pool
  • Being positioned as a good employer and preferred place to work

Employer Guide

Work-Based Learning Resources for Educators & Counselors

With work-based learning, educators and career counselors can provide:

  • Opportunities to simultaneously earn income and credentials
  • An alternative path for individuals who are hands-on learners
  • Support for using previous learning as credit toward credentials (C-Plan)
  • A way to engage in work and learning while building foundational knowledge and skills toward future plans
  • Meaningful support to learners at every level of need

Educator Guide

Work-Based Learning Resources for Students & Jobseekers

With work-based learning, students can:

  • Connect classroom learning to real-world work experience
  • Practice skills in real-world scenarios
  • Develop essential communication and problem-solving skills
  • See working professionals in action
  • Jumpstart your career by connecting with potential employers

Test-Drive a Career

Contact Us

Whether you are looking for training for your workforce, help connecting to industry experts, or any other need, our trained support staff is available to answer your questions and connect you with resources. 

Live chat, email questions, or call us to connect to solutions for your workforce. We look forward to assisting you! 

Toll-free: 833-905-WORK
Metro: +1-651-556-8451
MN Relay: 800-627-3529