Washington, WV - Dupont Washington Works and West Virginia University at Parkersburg will sign an agreement Friday afternoon which will be the first under the new "Learn and Earn" program. The Workforce Development Initiative was created by the West Virginia Legislature in 2011 and provides an opportunity for students to receive training and real work experience at the same time.
The agreement will be signed at 2 o'clock between DuPont Washington Works plant manager Karl Boelter and WVU-P President Dr. Marie Foster Gnage. Keith Burdette, Secretary for the WV Department of Commerce and Greg Smith, a representive of the WV Council for Community and Technical Colleges are also expected to attend.
Smith said the program is designed to promote higher education for adults. "It's an initiative that makes higher education more affordable for adults who may not have attended college directly from high school," said Smith. "Or that middle group of high school students who need a post secondar education if they are going to have a successful career."
He said private business and the state share in the cost and it allows the student the ability to receive income from a job in their field of study while they are taking the training courses.
The length of the program for each student will vary across the state depending on the training required to learn the skills for a particular job.
WVU-P has held various meetings on how to best serve employers in the area with a workforce that has proper training with public/private partnerships as one of the suggested solutions. Smith said that is exactly what the "Learn and Earn" program is.