Work Based Learning – A rewarding workforce option for your company

Martha Garcia-Tappa of IowaWorks
Martha Garcia-Tappa

Did you know that your organization could benefit from Work Based Learning? IowaWORKS can help you connect with WBL opportunities that could benefit your organization and a job seeker.

The WBL model is a continuum of structured activities utilizing the partnership between industry and education. It is a progression through awareness, exploration, preparation and training to support participants’ learning for future success. The training – available in person and virtually – is a hands-on method of teaching  employees the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to perform a specific job.

WBL participants become employees and earn a paycheck while learning in the actual work environment. Employers work closely with an IowaWORKS consultant to define and design the skills and knowledge needed to perform that job.

One of the program’s strengths is that there is no cost to the employer for the placement or recruiting.

IowaWORKS’ WBL programs connect job seekers to employers with internships, work experience, apprenticeships and on-the-job training opportunities. Our programs can help your business save money while turning a great candidate into a productive and profitable employee. Employers receive a reimbursement of up to 50% of the wages that they pay (up to 75% with special circumstances). Participants earn up to 520 hours in wages.

Why Work Based Learning?

  • The business gains new workers who are supported while in a training program.
  • It is easy to participate and invest in your current and future workforce.
  • Paid work experience helps with job readiness and retention.
  • The program reduces the cost of training new employees.
  • Allows for access to new job seekers.

IowaWORKS is keeping up with the next generation of workers through state-of-the-art learning modules.

Recently, a virtual reality training was made possible through a partnership with New York-based Transfr VR, which allows employers to gain access to trained workers with the skills they want from Day One. The program produces skilled workers without the costly training programs in facilities and improves workforce retention by up-skilling current staff.

The Transfr VR program offers career exploration of manufacturing, skilled trades, warehouse and storage, hospitality, tourism, public safety, and automotive. Its Classroom Suite offers virtual training of precision measurement, plant safety, automotive fundamentals, hospitality soft skills, blueprint reading, construction safety, aviation maintenance, and intro to culinary arts and basic baking. 

IowaWORKS works closely with you to determine which WBL program matches your company’s needs and to help you identify skills shortages and improve current and future workforce.

To learn more contact Jamie McLaughlin, IowaWORKS business consultant, at (563) 445-3200 ext. 43335 or

Martha Garcia-Tappa is a business marketing specialist with IowaWORKS, Davenport. She can be reached at (563) 445-3200 Ext. 43311 or

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