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February 11, 2019 | Spotlight

Experiential learning guide enhances Georgia workforce development efforts

The Institute of Government’s new guide to help schools and businesses connect to provide on-the-job learning experiences for students is now available online. The free booklet was developed with support from Georgia Power as part of the Institute’s workforce development program.

Writer: Roger Nielsen

Research professional Rebecca McIver introduces the Institute of Government’s new experiential learning guide, “Creating and Replicating High-Quality Experiential Learning Opportunities,” at a reception in Atlanta on Jan. 31. Schools and employers across Georgia can find proven ways to build successful experiential learning partnerships in a detailed new guide from the Carl Vinson Institute of Government.

“Creating and Replicating High-Quality Experiential Learning Opportunities” helps business leaders and educators identify the collaborations that are most effective in developing a trained workforce equipped with critical technical, academic and employability skills. The free booklet contains case studies and keys for replicating high school experiential learning programs, prepared by the Institute of Government’s workforce development faculty with support from the Georgia Power Co.

“Georgia Power works closely with the state to support education programs that strengthen the talent pipeline. We partnered with UGA’s Carl Vinson Institute of Government to identify best practices and opportunities to scale work-based learning in Georgia,” said Anne Kaiser, Georgia Power’s vice president of community and economic development.

Economic development professionals, business leaders, educators, elected officials and others interested in strengthening their local workforce development efforts can get practical information in the new guide.

“This new guide for businesses and schools highlights best practices and uses an easy-to-follow decision tree to help employers and educators select the experiential learning programs that would work best in their community,” said Laura Meadows, Institute of Government director.

The guide is available online at the Institute of Government’s new Georgia Workforce Toolkit website, www.gaworkforce.org. The Georgia Workforce Toolkit includes additional resources for schools and businesses that are establishing or expanding high-quality experiential learning programs, according to Institute of Government faculty member Greg Wilson.

“Experiential learning can help develop qualified, knowledgeable, dedicated employees from the ground up by connecting students to work and showing them where their education can lead,” Wilson said.

The guide, unveiled at a reception Jan. 31, features a decision tree that serves as a simple tool to let educators and businesses easily assess their needs and determine what program best addresses local needs and capacities. Clear, concise case studies of 19 experiential learning programs illustrate successful partnerships and programs and why they were appropriate for their communities.

Institute faculty surveyed experiential learning programs in Georgia and throughout the United States to select the most effective and successful programs for case studies. The guide summarizes the key to success for each program and organizes them on an experiential learning continuum from experiences to work-based learning and pre-apprenticeships.