Learn & Earn

In May, participants in AICGS’ working group “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce” visited the Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning (WDLL) Center at the University of the District of Columbia – Community College Bertie Backus Campus. A delegation including David Lloyd, Acting Director of Student Success; Edith Westfall, Associate Dean of WDLL; Jefre Holmes, Site Director of UMC; and Sherman Cook, Site Director of Backus met with us to provide a tour of the Center and conduct a roundtable discussion with a presentation.

View the Presentation

The mission of the UDC-CC Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning Division is to reduce unemployment and underemployment in DC by enhancing the skills of its residents. They provide courses to their students at no cost, assuming the students reside in DC and have a 7th grade education. They provide training in five sectors: healthcare; construction and property management; information technology and office administration; hospitality and tourism; and transportation. At the end of the program, which is on average 114 direct contact hours (12 weeks), the students take an independent third-party assessment to receive certifications. The Division does not currently conduct any registered apprenticeship programs.

The average age of a student at the WDLL is 37 years old, around 10 years older than the national average; 56 percent are female and 30 percent already have college credits. Students can seek the help of the Department of Employment Services (DOES) located on the first floor of the campus for career counseling, resume assistance, job placement, and other information. Examples of places that students work at upon completion of the certification are the Marriott Hotels, DC United, Washington Nationals, hospitals, and Cambria Suites.

Please let Kimberly Frank know if you have any questions at kfrank@aicgs.org.

Learn and Earn Design 2

Information about the working group:

The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies (AICGS) at Johns Hopkins has been working on bringing together a number of different actors concerned with workforce development in the U.S. to encourage sharing of ideas, learning lessons from different countries, seeing what challenges lay ahead, and where further cooperation is needed to encourage public-private partnerships towards promoting specialized skills training opportunities.

“Learn & Earn” is a working group of young professionals from a variety of different sectors and backgrounds (energy, education, finance, industry, manufacturing, etc.) that gather monthly to discuss the role of workforce training in economic development around the world.

Past events:

  • June, 2014: Robert Dehm from the German Embassy’s Economic Department presented the German Embassy’s Skills Initiative.
  • July: Zach Boren, Senior Advisor at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Apprenticeships, explained how they are trying to brand apprenticeships to an American audience.
  • August: Max Grünig, Senior Fellow of Ecologic, led a discussion on the growth of green industry in Europe and the U.S. and how that has spurred growth of apprenticeship programs in that field.
  • September: Katie Gage from Enstitute talked about her nonprofit organization and the challenges they run into in recruiting young applicants.
  • October: Dr. Achim Dercks, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce, presented on the role of domestic institutions on developing sustainable apprenticeship programs, during our first field trip to the Representative of German Industry + Trade (RGIT).
  • November: Kimberly FrankParke Nicholson, and Sarah Steinberg debriefed on their site visits to apprentice programs in Hungary, France, Germany, and the UK, and lessons learned for the U.S.
  • December: Dana Hendrickson, Director of Outreach and Advocacy at the Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs, led a discussion on efforts in the U.S. and Maryland to re-integrate military veterans into the workforce.
  • February: Jamell Thrower, Program Manager at the DC Department of Employment Services’ Office of Apprenticeship Information & Training, along with a current apprentice, described his unique DC jurisdiction.
  • March: Dr. Lukas Graf, AICGS/DAAD Research Fellow presented on “New Pathways for Advanced Work-Based Education.”
  • April: Xinge Wang, Deputy Director at the Transportation Learning Center, presented their findings on job demand and skill data.
  • May: Field trip to visit delegation at the Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning (WDLL) Center at the University of the District of Columbia – Community College.

Please tweet any relevant articles using #learnandearn, or feel free to post any articles that might be relevant to the LinkedIn group “Learn & Earn: A Young Leaders’ Group for the Development of the U.S. Workforce.”


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Image on left: “I commit to…” Students at the UDC Community College were asked to write what they committed to doing in order to achieve their goals.

Image on right: Some of the participants of the Learn & Earn field trip to the Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning (WDLL) Center at the University of the District of Columbia – Community College Bertie Backus Campus. From left to right: Vienna Rozelle, Amin Nagazi, Alix Auzepy, and Flavia Amann.