Bridging the Skills Gap with Hands-On Learning

Strategic Planning

More than 23,000 students are now on a path to becoming workforce ready.

More than 23,000 students are now on a path to becoming workforce ready.
Students Interns
Anticipated Employer Partners
Investments Made
Project Challenge & Opportunity

Bridging the Skills Gap with Hands-On Learning

A staggering 90% of scholars ages 16-18 have never experienced on-the-job learning through interning. With the growing need for skilled-workers across the nation and in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, a gaping opportunity exists for Southern Dallas County students to have these hands-on learning experiences. In support of developing career-ready skills for youth in and out of the classroom, Educate Texas provided resources to reimagine a PK-12 Work-Based Learning (WBL) program across three Southern Dallas County school districts’ education continuums.

Project approach & Process

Understanding the Existing Ecosystem

Across five months, CoSpero worked alongside more than 500 students, dozens of community members, and key district staff to explore what it would take to build a PK-12 Work-Based Learning ecosystem that expands classroom boundaries and prepares students for the future of work. We began by exploring the impact of districts’ current programs to identify building blocks and areas for opportunity using the TEA Work-Based Learning framework. Following, we established and engaged a design team of parents, teachers, students, and local industry leaders to guide our strategic planning process. Their insights provided tremendous contextual grounding to complement our student and staff surveys, district meetings, and 1-1 interviews with key leaders in the workforce space.

Project results & deliverables

Igniting Work-Based Learning Across Southern Dallas County

CoSpero delivered a stakeholder insights report, inclusive of various implementation tools, to support Southern Dallas County districts in strengthening their capacity to create a thriving WBL program. Our insights have sparked further investment to guide the expansion of WBL across these three participating school districts! As we embark on the next phase of our work with Educate Texas, CoSpero will continue to partner closely with each district to develop distinct strategic plans, inclusive of human capital and operations guidance, to support program rollout. We look forward to helping enhance opportunity, freedom, and choice for more than 23,000 students in our community.

Bridging the Skills Gap with Hands-On Learning
"The CoSpero Team is a joy to work with on projects."
Our team enjoyed collaborating with CoSpero. The interviews completed and thought given to creating an infrastructure for Work-Based Learning will positively impact Districts and, most importantly, help students to gain invaluable work experiences.
Educate Texas / Communities Foundation of Texas

Monica Jones

Deputy Director, Programs

Educate Texas / Communities Foundation of Texas

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