Integral to the success of a work-based learning program is the plan for promotion and recruiting. This plan should incorporate strategies for identifying and contacting prospective employers, students, and their parents.

Local school boards are required to encourage work-based learning - North Carolina General Statues: Chapter 115C-47 (34a) To Encourage High School to Work Partnerships. (scroll down the page to find 115C-47 (34a))


Strategies for reaching potential employers include:

  • Mailing brochures or flyers explaining the high school work-based learning program. Several examples can be found in the “Sample Documents” section below.
  • Attending and/or presenting at meetings of local industry groups or professional organizations.
  • Meeting individually with prospective employers.
  • Networking through current employers or advisory groups contacts.
  • Utilizing local media to promote the program and give contact information.


One strategy for maintaining direct contact with the local business community and soliciting their input in program evaluation is to form an advisory group. An advisory group may take different forms depending on the needs in the LEA, but generally consists of individuals representing the key players in the work-based learning process. The group may also be referred to as an advisory board, committee, or council.

The most essential members of an advisory group are representatives from the local business community. Some LEAs have a single advisory group that includes members from the various industries. Others prefer to form several industry councils, each of which consists of members from a specific industry. Regardless, the input of these individuals is invaluable in the decision-making process affecting the high school work-based learning program. Other members of an advisory group may include the local NC DOL Apprenticeship representative, community college staff, and a school-based work-based-learning coordinator, which is often the Career Development Coordinator.

Advisory groups should meet regularly, but only as necessary. Let the business persons plan and run the meetings. Minutes should be taken so those who were unable to attend are kept current on the status of the program and any decisions that were made.


Strategies for reaching potential students and their parents include:

  • Distributing brochures or flyers explaining the high school work-based learning program through targeted classes. Several samples can be found in the “Sample Documents” section below.
  • Attending and/or presenting at PTSA meetings.
  • Meeting individually with prospective students.
  • Giving presentations to students in Career and Technical Education classes.
  • Utilizing local media to promote the program and give contact information.
  • Writing articles for the school newspaper and PTSA newsletters.
  • Developing a section for the LEA's or for individual schools' web sites.
  • Organizing a special event to distribute program information and to bring students, parents, and potential employers together.


Recognition activities play a dual role in a high school work-based learning program. First, these activities are a reward for students who have completed a rigorous training program and for employers who have participated in the program. Second, these activities also serve as a vehicle for promoting the program.

Local recognition activities may include the following:

  • Presentation at school-based honors and awards programs.
  • District-wide work-based learning recognition banquet or program.
  • Articles in the school newspaper, PTSA newsletter.
  • Promotion in the local media.
  • Leadership seminars for current students.


In late spring, the North Carolina Department of Labor sponsors the Apprenticeship Forum. The main focus of the forum is to recognize outstanding achievement in apprenticeship activities through the annual apprenticeship awards. Award categories relevant to the high school apprenticeship programs include the Outstanding Apprenticeship Program, Outstanding On-the-Job Training Program, Outstanding Individuals Contributing to Apprenticeship, Outstanding High School Apprentice, and Outstanding High School/High School Systems. Apprentices, apprenticeship coordinators, and employers from across the state are encouraged to attend and to nominate deserving candidates for awards.


Why Work-based Learning?

  • Implements the cultural and institutional changes needed to ensure continuing economic prosperity
  • Prepares the workforce for now and for the future
  • Demonstrates the willingness of the community in meeting the workforce challenge so profit-making companies will look to relocate or establish new industries for their economic needs
  • Demonstrates to other communities the importance placed on education in the community and business and industry
  • Economic prosperity is directly linked to the skill, knowledge, and ingenuity of its citizens
  • Creates pathways for students to get good jobs
  • Helps students see the relationship between school and work
  • Boosts productivity

Key Links

  • Know your community, businesses and industries' employment practices and the economic development policies
  • Build relationships with the NC Department of Labor to assist with recruitment purposes
  • Understand the Child Labor Laws and have a copy of these laws with you when you are recruiting
  • Keep a copy of the 900-plus Apprenticeable Occupations list recognized by the state
  • Establish new relationships but build on what you have
  • Know and use companies and students that are in, or have been in, work-based learning programs
  • Utilize companies that will give you strong company support in your endeavors--companies that understand training programs and are supportive
  • Develop attractive, promotional materials--brochures, fliers, videos, etc.
  • Establish an advisory board consisting of people in various career fields


Here are sample documents from across the state that LEAs can use to craft their own apprenticeship program.

  • Sample letter to business association
    (pdf, 467kb)
  • Sample flyer to attract business and industry
    (pdf, 425kb)
  • Sample flyer to attract students
    (pdf, 419kb)


Two important tasks of the teacher-coordinator are recruiting and enrolling students. Although individual schools and LEAs may operate under different schedules, the following steps should be undertaken during the recruitment and enrollment period.

  • Publicize the various work-based learning programs. Publicity should include purposes, career opportunities, and enrollment procedures.
  • Distribute application forms to homeroom teachers, CTE teachers, counselors, and students.
  • Review the applications. Follow established local admission policies. Priority is given to those students who meet the following criteria:
    • Completion of any prerequisites identified for the work-based learning.
      • Verification of Safety Training - Shared from the Southern Regional Education Board.
        (doc, 24kb)
    • Present career objectives in an occupation related to the identified work-based learning.
  • Interview students to discuss practices and procedures.
  • Hold follow-up conferences with those choosing to participate in work-based learning.
  • Notify those students that are not accepted. Local school systems must develop non-discriminatory policies for determining admission or rejection.
  • Hold orientation meetings and/or workshops in the spring with the accepted students. Encourage parents to attend.
  • Encourage students to affiliate with the appropriate career-technical student organization (CTSO), explaining why such an organization forms an integral part of the total training experience.
  • Make certain that both the student and parent(s) sign the student's Training Agreement and understand the need to comply with all school and company policies.
    • Cooperative Education Training Agreement
      (doc, 34kb)
    • Parental Permission Agreement - Shared by the Job Ready Work Based Learning Guide
      (doc, 34kb)
    • Work-Based Learning Agreement - Shared by McHenry County, South Carolina
      (doc, 43kb)
    • Parent/Guardian Work-Based Learning Sample Permission Form - Shared from the South Carolina Department of Education
      (doc, 35kb)
    • Sample Training Agreement/Training Plan - Shared from the Nebraska Department of Education
      (doc, 40kb)
    • Apprenticeship Training Agreement - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
      (pdf, 440kb)