Enhanced Workplace Learning/Co-op Experience

Posted on Categories Business, Community, Workforce Engagement, Employability Skills, Work-based learning

At a Glance

Erie High School students in the welding program may participate in a work-based learning experience with local employers. During this time, students may receive additional school-based technical training to support their experience and to further develop their skills.


When Erie High School welding students participate in a workplace learning experience, their instructors want to maximize the experience for them and for the employers with whom they work. To do this, the welding instructors check in with the employers to assess how the student is performing and what additional support the student may need to be successful. Based on employer feedback, the instructors coordinate with Erie High School academic teachers to find times during the school day to bring the student in for additional training. In addition, teachers have been willing to stay after school to work with students and accommodate their needs.

The welding instructors find that soliciting employer feedback and using it to address a student’s needs strengthens the work-based learning experience for all those involved. The school and the student are can better meet the specific needs of the employer, and students benefit from additional training and support in their program area. Ideally, the student becomes more employable as a result of this experience.

It can be a challenge to find additional time for students to further strengthen their technical skills. However, the welding instructors report that co-op students often are motivated to work with their academic instructors to find occasional blocks of time for training and practice.


The supplemental training provided to co-op welding students benefits the:
• Employer because the students are better trained to best meet their specific needs;
• Students because they broaden and deepen their technical skills; and
• The welding program because the quality work done by co-op students reflects positively on the program and enhances its reputation in the community.


Erie High School
Donna Bastian, CWI/CWE, Welding Instructor