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The Challenge:

There are 1.2 million young people ages 16-29 living in Indiana, whom account for roughly 1/3 of the working population. Since the great recession, unemployment among this age group has been higher than the average population. Unfortunately, Indiana loses a large percentage of its youth with postsecondary credentials and degrees to surrounding states and California. Yet, simultaneously, there are more than one million jobs that will be available in the next 10 years, and there is a misalignment of educational training programs to the skills demanded by employers.

The Vision:

Connecting young adults to high-wage, high-demand employment opportunities through work-and-learn is essential to filling the million job openings projected to be available in Indiana between now and 2025. This vision can only be accomplished through the alignment of business, government, education, and community resources toward priority industry needs.

  • Work-and-Learn is the talent retention strategy for employers and Indiana to leverage to stop the brain drain.
  • Work-and-learn is the way to help all youth and young adults acquire and demonstrate the employability skills that employers demand.

How We Get There


  • Identify through projections data the top 40 careers with little to no supply
  • Develop and vet a framework for quality work-and-learn experiences for 16-29 year-olds
  • Map existing work-and-learn programming and educational constructs to maintain relationships with employers
  • Define a continuum of work-and-learn experiences across age bands


  • Plan annual conference annually in October
  • Share resources at existing conferences and meetings hosted by partner agencies and organizations


  • Design pre-apprenticeship model and mitigate liability issues for 16-18-year olds
  • Incorporate the demand perspective and other enhancements into Indiana Career Explorer
  • Grow IndianaIntern.net’s capacity
  • Reimagine work-and-learn beyond traditional CTE programming to include high-ability students, STEM pathways, 21st century scholars, and liberal arts and sciences postsecondary programs.
  • Expand work-and-learn within more traditional programming like CTE, JAG, adult education, and more.
  • Develop liberal arts teacher externships model that complements CTE teacher externships model.
  • Create opportunities for rural communities like the Direct Employ model or virtual internships.


  • Develop comprehensive outreach campaign to engage students and employers
  • Design strategies to leverage existing funding resources to expand work-and-learn models


  • How do we measure high-quality work-and-learn experiences?
  • What data points need to be collected on the employer and individual side?
  • What data is already collected? How can we enhance it?
  • What outcomes do we wish to affect? What value propositions matter most?

SWIC Align Work-and-Learn Taskforce

The taskforce is charged with validating the top 40 careers with limited talent supply and defining a work-and-learn framework.

Equal Opportunity is the Law. (La Igualdad De Oportunidad Es La Ley.)
Equal Opportunity Employer/Program Auxiliary aids and services are available upon request to individuals with disabilities.

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