In Arkansas, interest in work-based learning and apprenticeships was rising, and the time was right for an energetic expansion. How best to fuel the fire? Train the salespeople.

That’s the approach Thomas P. Miller & Associates is taking with the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services in its quest to accelerate work-based learning. Through a one-year engagement concluding in June 2020, TPMA is training business services representatives of the state’s American Job Centers to persuade more employers to participate.

The representatives are being taught how to inform, sell and finalize agreements with employers to increase participation in the Work-Based Learning Program. Businesses will receive better information and guidance for buying into programming and completing agreements for on-the-job training, paid internships, work experience and incumbent worker training.

Thomas P. Miller & Associates began by gathering information and conducting focus interviews with 10 local workforce areas and representatives. Training levels varied among the representatives, and creating consistently stronger ambassadors is expected to increase employer interest in the programs.

Arkansas is hoping to catch a wave of interest in work-based learning. Registered apprenticeships rose from 4,489 in August 2016 to 6,000 in early 2019.

This isn’t the first time TPMA has designed or facilitated regional and statewide training for workforce professionals. Projects have been completed in Louisiana, Wisconsin, Indiana, Oregon, the District of Columbia, East Tennessee and Eckerd Kids in Florida. 

Contact TPMA to learn how we can create a customized approach for your program.