What Is Earn & Learn East Bay?
Earn & Learn East Bay is a campaign that aligns school districts, community colleges, workforce development boards, community colleges, youth development providers and business associations in Alameda and Contra Costa counties into a single system of engaging employers with work-based learning.
We support employers in providing a range of work-based learning experiences. These experiences create for employers a much-needed diverse, local talent pipeline and for young people exposure and experience to in-demand careers, providing them inspiration, connections and direction in how to achieve their goals.
Our system seeks to be user-friendly, equitable, transparent, accountable and scalable, providing employers with a single-point of contact, and a sectoral focus on high-growth industries, including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and information communication and technology.
Earn & Learn began as an employer recognition breakfast event in 2015. With the strong reception to the gathering, support from a Career Pathways Trust grant and hosting at the Workforce Development Board of Contra Costa County, Earn & Learn has now grown into a strong and active campaign and national model. We will continue to work with our partners and stakeholders to further develop Earn & Learn to be transformative for youth and employers.
What Does It Mean to Be Part of Earn & Learn?
To be part of the Earn & Learn network means your organization is in a network with over 40 other local school districts, community colleges, county offices of education, community based organizations, workforce development boards and business associations. Each organization in our network is a partner in this shared effort, meaning that together we develop resources, identify priorities, celebrate achievement, use common standards and work under a common brand of Earn & Learn to attract greater employer involvement. Each of our partners, has a “connector” who is a lead between the Earn & Learn network and the teachers and other youth providers in their organization.
Each partner organization of Earn & Learn signs an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) at the leadership and “connector” level that confirms their involvement and efforts to allocate needed internal resources, participate in the network and use a shared database to manage and track employer engagement and work- based learning experiences.
Earn & Learn provides teachers resources to deepen their career pathways, including contacts to industry and tools to organize work-based learning. Each of our partners, has a “connector” who is a lead between the Earn & Learn network and the teachers and other youth providers in their organization. In partnership with our connectors, we have created a professional learning community that has developed materials and best practices to employer outreach and engagement.
What Benefits Do I Get Out of Participating?
- Professional Learning Community: Connect with other educators, provide peer support and sharing on what’s working and what’s not.
- System-building In Your Organization: Help within your organization on having a “home team” to coordinate efforts and work with your connector to leverage Earn & Learn’s resources.
- Industry Leads: Increased access to priority high-growth sectors, that provide opportunity for teacher externships and experiences for youth.
- Employer Database: A shared platform to track employer engagement, distribute available experiences, coordinate shared contacts and track data.
- Targeted Outreach: Ability to leverage the broader network for specific work-based learning needs of your school
- Strong Employer Interest: Employers have shown strong interest in being part of Earn & Learn and deepening and expanding the opportunities they provide to youth.
Do I Have to Give Up My Employer Contacts or Change the Way I Do My Work?
You do not have to give up your employer contacts to be part of Earn & Learn and work with a common employer engagement database. The employers you work with will not have their contact information shared with other users in the network, unless you agree to have that happen. There may be cases where employers are requesting a “single point of contact” among the several schools they work with. In that case, Earn & Learn will work with the employer and the educators to identify how there can be better coordinated outreach that makes it easier for the employer.
Earn & Learn has adopted a shared toolset to help educators, employers and youth prepare for and participate in work-based learning. This toolset is organized by experience, for example internships or workplace tours, and is available on our website. This toolset is comprised of guidelines from the leading practices of our network and other well-regarded organizations. It assists everyone in having a high quality experience that can be transformational for youth.