How Schools Can Partner with the Workforce for Work Based Learning in Texas

Posted by Texas OnCourse Leader Fellow Christi Barrera on Apr 25, 2019 11:34:21 AM

Ask any educator what their ultimate goal is for their students and you’re likely to hear something in regard to preparing them for the future. What does this boil down to? Typically a career that can provide for the individual and help them live a satisfying life. It makes sense that educational institutions partner more effectively with the workforce to make this goal more attainable through work based learning in Texas. We have great resources available through our partners at the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC). Below, we outline some ways you, as an educator, can take advantage of collaborating with TWC and other local workforce resources.

Why should schools (and school districts) partner with the TWC and the local workforce in general?

  • To get reliable data on the job market in any region of the state
  • To better advise our students on careers and the job opportunities within a career field
  • To help us network with local businesses to increase the work-based learning opportunities for our students
  • FREE training, presentations, and staff development for students, parents, and staff

Best practices for successfully partnering with the workforce:

  • Take advantage of the partnerships that are already formed with the career and technical education (CTE) department in your district; they have advisory boards with members from local businesses who want to help
  • Contact the educational representative on your TWC regional board and ask them how you can get involved
  • Invite the CTE advisory board members, TWC board members, and local community members to tour the programs offered at your campus and provide them with information regarding the certifications and training that are offered to your students
  • Ask local businesses to get involved in work-based learning opportunities

What are some benefits of work-based learning?

  • Students connect what they learn in the classroom to the education and skills required for workplace success
  • Students explore various fields and careers so that they can make informed decisions about their goals and understand the education necessary to reach them
  • They gain employability skills for any career area (communication, responsibility, organization, etc.) as well as soft skills that can influence career success

Examples of work-based learning opportunities:

  • Classroom presentations
  • Job shadowing
  • Informational interviews
  • Internships
  • Mentorships
  • Apprenticeships
  • On-the-job training

Don't forget about the Texas Workforce Commission's Education Outreach Services:

  • Four specialists with a background in education and academic counseling are ready to help
  • Provide free training to students, parents and guardians, and staff members on a variety of workforce topics
  • Provide free resources with reliable information

For additional information, you can email the education outreach services team at Or find comprehensive information on Academic Planning at our Academic Planning Basics article for educators.

And of course, the Texas OnCourse Academy has a wealth of information on work-based learning. Be sure to check out the Work-Based Learning Experiences module!

Topics: Jobs and Careers, Educators, High School, Academic Planning