WASHINGTON— The NGA Center for Best Practices today announced that six states—Indiana, Iowa,Montana, New Hampshire, Utah and Washington—will participate in the 2016 Policy Academy on Scaling Work-Based Learning. Work-based learning blends work experience and applied learning to develop youth and young adults’ foundational and technical skills to expand their education, career and employment opportunities.

The policy academy offers a unique opportunity for state workforce and education leaders to develop strategies to scale high-quality, work-based learning opportunities for young adults. The idea is to connect 16- to 29-year-olds with middle-skills career opportunities in STEM-intensive industries (those in the science, technology, engineering and math areas) such as advanced manufacturing, health care, information technology and energy.

The 18-month leadership program focuses on helping state teams incorporate work-based learning into their overall talent pipeline as a way to establish clear career pathways for young people and develop a skilled workforce.

“Preparing our young people for the modern workforce is a priority all governors share,” said Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who is also the chair of the NGA Education and Workforce Committee. “Washington is excited to participate in this opportunity to develop strategies that will help our young people succeed.”