Skill UP! work-based learning provides authentic job experiences & soft skill development


Work-based learning has become a popular term among employers, educators, and education policy-makers. Loosely defined, work-based learning is an educational experience that engages students in a work experience while he or she completes a course of study. The experience allows students to build technical and professional skills and gain invaluable industry experience, while they earn credentials or degrees. The benefits of engaging students in authentic job experiences go far beyond traditional career exposure. Students have the opportunity to apply the knowledge they have acquired during the educational experience in real-world scenarios. Work-based learning also allows employers to interact with and mentor young talent in the hopes of building a pipeline for a skilled workforce.

This year, ROI launched the Skill UP! Work and Learn Internship Program, an initiative established through the Skill UP! Indiana grant administered by the Department of Workforce Development. Through this program, ROI partnered with WorkOne Southwest Indiana to place 30 information technology students from Ivy Tech Community College-Bloomington, Vincennes University, Vincennes University-Jasper Campus, and Indiana University with 14 regional employers. As of mid-November, six students have completed the 14-week program, and five students have reported receiving full-time job offers from their partnering organizations.

ROI’s involvement in the Skill UP! Work and Learn Internship Program has gone beyond finding participating employers and interested students. For many students, this is their first experience working in a professional environment. For this reason, ROI also created a soft skills training program for participants with topics including business etiquette, time management, team effectiveness, value building, developing a vision, learning from experience, and interviewing skills.


ROI would like to thank our Skill UP! Work and Learn Company Partners: AB Biotechnologies, Artisan Electronics, Elevate, Hanapin Marketing, IU Health, Jasper Engines & Transmissions, Platformatics, ProBleu, Singota Solutions, SproutBox, Technology Service Corporation, Tristar Engineering, Venue IQ, and Warrant Technologies.

In the coming months, ROI will continue to collaborate with regional educators, employers, and other local and state entities to expand valuable opportunities and work-based learning opportunities throughout the region. To learn more, contact Matt DeGolyer, Education & Workforce Attainment Specialist, at or (812) 287-8116.


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