Inside INdiana Business

Advisory board created for Work-Based Learning Office

INDIANAPOLIS (Inside INdiana Business) — The Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) now has an advisory board to help with the evolving work-based learning system. The OWBLA has grown its staff and offerings after being created by a Governor Eric Holcomb executive order in 2018. 

Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne says he decided OWBLA should be the third pillar of the Department of Workforce Development due to the impact work-based learning has on the state’s workforce and education systems. 

“While the office continues to coordinate efforts to expand registered apprenticeships with the U.S. Department of Labor, develop and implement comprehensive work-based learning programs for both youth and adults, it is the building of statewide public-private partnerships that remains critical to the success of the system that is being put in place.”

Payne says there are three phases to the office’s growth:

  • Phase I – Establishment and Development (now complete);
  • Phase II – Evolution of Programs and P3, which is set to start in 2021; and
  • Phase III – Transition, to either a full-service entity or simply play a programming and regulatory role, which is targeted for 2024.

The board is comprised of 15 volunteers, one from each region of the 12 workforce development boards in the state, and one each from Vincennes University, Ivy Tech Community College and Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education. 

“There is no doubt that a transparent process is needed to help establish a much-needed system that is statewide yet operates at a regional or local level,” said OWBLA Executive Director Darrel Zeck. “The ability to support this process, while considering their own regional economic priorities, will be important as we engage in scaling proactive, comprehensive work-based learning programs across Indiana.”