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Transforming Education and Workforce Development: Elevating Apprenticeships, Accelerating Work-based Learning Ecosystems, and Boosting Career Readiness

Find out how GPS Ed is driving change in education and workforce development by downloading our case studies.

Community Case Study    |     School Case Study     |     Employer Case Study (coming soon)

Students who engage in work-based learning experiences are 70% more likely to secure employment upon graduation compared to their peers who do not participate.

In this case study, you will learn how one community in Hennepin County, MN worked with GPS Ed to advance CTE and provide career pathways through work-based learning for their students.

INTRODUCTION | Hennepin West Consortium Ecosystem
CHALLENGES & BARRIERS | Addressing the Opportunites for Success
IMPLEMENTATION | Roadmap to a Regional Work-based Learning Ecosystem

  • Pilot Activation
  • Employer Engagement
  • School Expansion
  • A Co-Designed Solution
  • Expanding Career Pathways
VISION | Sustaining & Enhancing for Ongoing Success
CONCLUSION | Through the GPS Ed partnership with the Hennepin West Consortium, CTE participation rates will be higher than the national average.

More importantly, the pipeline for high-need employment areas connected to a family-sustaining wage will be widened — increasing regional economic benefit and equitable employment for a higher number of high school graduates.

In this case study, you’ll learn how Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) addressed challenges in meeting state standards for student participation in work-based learning by collaborating with community organizations and postsecondary institutions to enhance internships, apprenticeships, and career-related programs.

INTRODUCTION | Milwaukee Public Schools Ecosystem
CHALLENGES & BARRIERS | Addressing Student Participation in Work-based Learning & Aligning Students with Business Opportunities
IMPLEMENTATION | Roadmap to College and Career Readiness for Students

  • Hiring Work-based Learning Specialists at MPS
  • Career Awareness & Exploration Activities
  • Partnering with an Intermediary
  • A Co-Designed Solution
VISION | Expanding Career Awareness Services for Ongoing Success
CONCLUSION | Through the GPS Ed partnership with Milwaukee Public Schools, nearly 800 MPS students attended GPS Ed career awareness events, gaining exposure to 13 local companies, 15 different career fields and more than 10 organizations offering work-based learning to high school students.

More importantly, work-based learning is quickly emerging as a best practice and a leading indicator for success. Partnering with intermediaries to build systems of collaboration and efficiency leads to better outcomes for students.

When you implement a sustainable work-based learning program, the positive impact extends beyond the school itself, also benefiting:


By providing solutions to help close the workforce gap, allowing for industry growth by filling the talent pipeline with the next generation of workers.


By expanding learning opportunities to prepare them for a successful and sustainable future through hands-on, real world work experience.


By creating success opportunities through augmented programming and new connections, thus closing educational and socioeconomic gaps.

Their communication, their presentation on their expectations for the students is above and beyond. They care — they really are trying to strengthen the workforce while placing these individual students in a career path that’s of their interest.

Brandon HolmesVP Operations, Ajax Metals

The reason why intermediaries like GPS Ed are so important is because of the challenges of scaling up such initiatives with 42 school districts in DuPage County. It’s time-consuming and resource-intensive for both businesses and schools. GPS Ed provided us with the “how-to” and the intermediary approach we needed….GPS Ed’s ability to speak the language of both educators and businesses was crucial in making this happen and continuing to move us forward.

Dr. Darlene RuscittiRegional Superintendent of Schools, DuPage County

I think [GPS Ed] is really good at listening to us and finding exactly what each school needs.

Kyle SwensonWork-Based Learning Coordinator, Wayazata High School

It’s been very successful. We are pleased to have them and the resources that they bring to us.

Jean RakunSecondary Perkins Consortium Director

Have questions about the Case Study or want to learn more about the power of work-based learning?

If this case study inspired you to take the next steps, we recommend the following:

  1. Evaluate the workforce needs in your community. How are local high schools supporting this need?
  2. Reflect on any existing or potential WBL program. What are the barriers to success or implementation?
  3. Partner with an intermediary such as GPS Education Partners to build a high-quality and sustainable community-based WBL ecosystem.

Contact GPS Education Partners Today!

Email us at info@gpsed.org or click here gpsed.org/cs to learn more.

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