Annual education report challenges Metro Schools to grow ‘Work-Based Learning’

Published: Jan. 24, 2023 at 9:15 PM CST
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - The Nashville Chamber released its 30th annual education report Tuesday, hoping this year, to grow Metro Nashville Public Schools’ Work-Based Learning program.

The program, which started two years ago, helps graduating seniors find high-wage, high-demand jobs through partner businesses that provide paid work experience.

“We just saw this opportunity as a great talent pipeline,” Margaret Anne Byerly, with Enterprise Solutions, said. “That’s the thing that we really want to focus on too, is that not everybody has the means or the capability to go to college.”

Enterprise Solutions, an electrical design and construction firm, is one of 15 business partners in MNPS’ Work-Based Learning program. Byerly said they’ve already hired three former Metro students, and have two more interning with them.

“Being able to have these students come in and work for us while they’re learning at night at our apprenticeship school, they’re also earning with us, so when they do well at school or at work they’re getting bonuses,” Byerly said. “So it’s been a great opportunity for these students and a great opportunity for us.”

Each year the Nashville Chamber Education Report makes recommendations to Metro Schools, which this year included increasing the access to work-based learning for undocumented students, students with transportation issues, and students who’ve been in trouble with the law.

Since 2021, 131 Metro Schools students have participated in work-based learning.

The program has 15 business partners.

“Helping them gain job skills that will help them no matter where they go and maybe even be an experience that helps them better figure out what they want to do later on in life is simply the right thing to do,” Nashville Chamber Education Report Co-Chair, Carrie Maxwell said.

Mayor John Cooper and MNPS Director of Schools Adrienne Battle spoke at Tuesday’s announcement.

You can read the full report by clicking here.