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$250K to start work-based learning collaborative in Southern Virginia

Southern Virginia is set to witness the growth of internship opportunities, thanks to a generous grant of $250,000. The initiative, known as the Virginia Talent + Opportunity Partnership Innovative Internship, is a collaborative effort involving K-12 schools, higher education institutions, economic development organizations, and employers, as announced in a recent news release.

Taking the helm of this ambitious project is the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), which aims to foster connections between students and employers through work-based learning experiences. This initiative seeks to not only benefit the region’s youth but also contribute to the overall economic development of Southern Virginia.

Julie Brown, Vice President of Advanced Learning, expressed her enthusiasm for the project, stating, “Working with excellent partners, IALR has a proven track record in developing and growing work-based learning programs and activities that make a tangible impact on the regional economy.” The $250,000 grant was awarded by the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia, reflecting the state’s commitment to expanding work-based learning opportunities.

The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research, the ninth and final recipient of this regional collaborative grant, joins a broader statewide effort aimed at enhancing work-based learning experiences. Alisha Bazemore, Assistant Director of Innovative Work-Based Learning Initiatives with the State Council for Higher Education, described the grant as a significant milestone, with all nine regions now represented.

To kickstart this endeavor, the institute and its partners will employ surveys and meetings to assess the potential for growth in work-based learning opportunities within the Southern Virginia region. This strategic approach aims to lay the foundation for a brighter future by equipping students with valuable skills and connecting them with meaningful career pathways, thereby fostering economic growth and prosperity throughout the region.

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