Work-based learning, an educational strategy that provides students with real-life work experiences where they can apply their academic and technical skills, was piloted in Nashville public schools last school year as part of the New Skills Ready grant. The pilot began as a small-scale effort at the four New Skills Ready high schools before expanding to three additional high schools and is slated to scale to all Metro Nashville Public Schools high schools this upcoming school year.

The pilot linked almost 70 students to 15 business partners. About half of the students qualified for funding through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. These students worked over 5,000 hours and received upwards of $70,000 in wages. 97% of participants graduated from high school, and 73% are headed to some form of postsecondary training – trade school, community college, or university. As one participant said:

“I didn’t know what I was going to do after high school, but work-based learning helped me fund a job I really love.”

Kudos to our Metro Schools partners and the four New Skills high schools – Maplewood, Overton, Pearl-Cohn, and Whites Creek!