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The Milestone Tool: Planning a Work-Based Learning Project

Rebecca Starr

Careful planning is critical to the success of any project; partners can use this tool to guide their efforts to develop effective work-based learning methodologies. By mapping out key elements and activities, partners create a shared vision for work-based learning and acknowledge the supports needed for successful implementation.

The Milestone Tool for planning a work-based learning project will help any partnership that is developing work-based learning delivery methods of instruction. Moreover, this tool also has broader applicability to projects that seek to design new and innovative ways to educate employees. This tool was developed in the context of Jobs to Careers: Transforming the Front Lines of Health Care, which seeks to advance and reward the skill and career development of low-wage incumbent workers providing care and services on the front lines of our health and health care systems. Jobs for the Future developed this tool to help in a daunting task: planning and documenting the key activities and major milestones for each element of a work-based learning project. The tool breaks down program elements for the partners to fill in, along with accompanying timeframes for completion. This is a step-by-step process that will take the project through the planning and keep it on track throughout implementation, if used consistently as a project management tool.

The tool was created for Jobs to Careers, which supported partnerships to advance and reward the skill and career development of incumbent workers providing care and services on the front lines of our health and health care systems. The initiative was a national program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, in collaboration with the Hitachi Foundation and with additional support from the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration. Jobs for the Future was the National Program Office for Jobs to Careers.