State Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship creates advisory board

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State Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship creates advisory board

Creation of 15-member board is next step in continued growth of the office


INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 8, 2020)  –Indiana’s Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship has created an advisory board to review the past successes and future plans of the office, as well as provide expertise and support within the developing work-based learning system.

Since 2018 when the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) was created through executive order by Governor Holcomb, OWBLA has experienced growth within its staff and program offerings. Indiana’s Department of Workforce Development Commissioner Fred Payne made the decision then to have OWBLA become the third pillar of DWD due, in part, to the important impact that work-based learning has on Indiana’s education and workforce systems.

Payne stated, “While the office continues to coordinate efforts to expand registered apprenticeships with the U.S. Department of Labor, develop and implement comprehensive work-based learning programs for both youth and adults, it is the building of statewide public-private partnerships (P3) that remains critical to the success of the system that is being put in place.”

OWBLA’s Executive Director Darrel Zeck said, “This continued growth makes it more important to have a group of trusted advisors as we move forward.” 

There are three phases to growth with the OWBLA:

  • Phase I – Establishment and Development (now complete);
  • Phase II – Evolution of Programs and P3, which is set to start in 2021; and
  • Phase III – Transition, to either a full-service entity or simply play a programming and regulatory role, which is targeted for 2024.

The advisory board’s engagement and actions will play an important part in the office’s decision-making process throughout these phases. It was important to have geographical representation statewide and support from each of Indiana’s six key economic sectors.

“I am happy to say that both objectives have been met,” said Zeck.

Fifteen volunteers will comprise this board, one from each of the 12 workforce development boards’ regions throughout the state, and one each from Indiana’s Commission for Higher Education, Vincennes University, and Ivy Tech Community College. Each member previously showed interest in serving on such a board or has been instrumental in supporting work-based learning programs within the state or their places of employment.

“There is no doubt that a transparent process is needed to help establish a much-needed system that is statewide yet operates at a regional or local level,” said Zeck. “The ability to support this process, while considering their own regional economic priorities, will be important as we engage in scaling proactive, comprehensive work-based learning programs across Indiana.”

Members of the OWBLA Advisory Board include:

  • Denise Dillard, Methodist Hospitals, Gary
  • Leighton Johnson, South Bend/Elkhart Regional Partnership, South Bend
  • Margi Brooks, Brooks Construction, Fort Wayne
  • Geanie Umberger, Purdue Cybersecurity Apprenticeship Program, West Lafayette
  • Chuck Goodrich, Gaylor Electric, Noblesville
  • Michael Dora, Dora Enterprises, Rushville
  • Laurence Cross, J & N Metal Products, Brazil
  • Christi Mcbride, Hoosier Hills Career Center, Bloomington
  • Dave Ungru, Koehler Welding Supply, Madison
  • Paul Perkins, Amatrol Inc., Jeffersonville
  • Dustin Adams, Hutson Inc., Evansville
  • Carl Bossung, Senior 1 Care, Indianapolis
  • Rebecca Rahschulte, Ivy Tech Community College
  • David Tucker, Vincennes University
  • Ken Sauer, Commission for Higher Education


About the Indiana Department of Workforce Development
DWD serves the worker and the employer to ensure workplace success. DWD is committed to innovating and invigorating Indiana’s economic future by providing WorkOne Career Centers, Unemployment Insurance, Labor Market Information, Regional Workforce Strategies and Professional Training. Through these services, DWD is able to develop a premier workforce that enables Indiana employers to flourish and entices businesses from outside our state to relocate to Indiana.

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