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Express WBL Partnership

Our partnership with Express Employment Professionals removes many barriers to work-based learning

What is the Express WBL Partnership?

One key to work-based learning success is the willingness of employers to provide paid internships for students to learn and master their skills at the workplace. For some employers, concerns about liability,  workers’ compensation insurance, and a lack of comfort in the process are barriers to prevent them from participating in WBL. Express Employment Professionals can remove these barriers and provide additional services to potential WBL employers, students and schools.

How Does the Partnership Work?

  • Express Employment Professionals is the actual employer of the WBL student and covers the required workers’ compensation insurance and liability.
  • The onboarding and off-boarding processes are covered by Express.
  • Both the school and Express have a vested interest in WBL student success.
  • The combined resources of the school and Express provide a higher level of career development.

Who Can Participate

Express WBL is open to students and employers in all 29 technology center districts, and in all high schools with CareerTech programs.

Benefits to Students

Students who participate in Express WBL will gain experiences and skills that can only come from being there and living it. A short list of the many benefits are:

  • Interns gain real-world experience in the world of work. Interns’ resumes will reflect actual job experience after their Express WBL experiences.
  • Interns will be paid during the internship.
  • Interns will begin building their network of associates in the industry through the Express WBL experience.
  • Students can experience multiple internships with multiple employers and even multiple industries during their Express WBL experiences.
  • A poor fit between employer and intern can result in a simple reassignment to another WBL opportunity with another Express employer.
  • Both the school and Express have a vested interest in the WBL intern’s success.
  • The combined resources of the school and Express provide a higher level of career development.

Benefits to Employers

Businesses must keep their eye on the bottom line. Even businesses that are committed to helping people get a positive start in their careers must balance their costs with the benefits. When businesses participate in Express WBL they gain several benefits.

  • Express is the actual employer of record for the Express WBL interns and covers the required worker’s compensation and liability. Many times, worker’s compensation and liability are identified as the reason employers do not offer WBL. With Express serving as the employer, the worksite employer’s risks are significantly reduced, onboarding and off-boarding costs are reduced, and agility is increased.
  • Express handles all the onboarding and off-boarding processes to support the Express WBL.
    • Recruiting and pre-qualifying
    • I-9, W-2, FICA requirements and expenses
    • Drug testing (if required)
    • Termination and unemployment
  • Businesses can leverage Express’s highly capable recruiting resources and years of experience in workforce acquisition and development. Finding the right employees is what Express does.
  • The worksite employer and the intern are both looking for a positive experience. Sometimes the intern and worksite employer fit may not be aligned. In this situation, a simple reassignment of the intern to another Express WBL employer can keep the WBL experience moving forward. There is much less stress for all involved. Express will provide another intern to the worksite employer (if available).
  • Employers that participate in Express WBL can “Try before you buy” emerging new talent from the career and technology education programs. These students have committed to developing themselves beyond a high school diploma or have gone back to school to gain a competitive edge in their chosen careers.
  • Employers have the flexibility to engage in internships, apprenticeships or registered apprenticeships, or whichever best fits their opportunities or needs. There is further flexibility in the fact that no two WBL experiences need to look the same.
  • Each worksite employer participates in the creation of the intern’s WBL agreement and will know the learning objectives and experiences they are expected to provide before the intern arrives.
  • Participating in the process with education professionals will increase the worksite employer’s capacity to develop and implement workforce skills development across its organization.

Benefits to Schools

  • Schools can take advantage of Express’ employer recruiting capabilities to provide students with WBL opportunities.
  • Having Express serving as the employer of record provides employers with protections that may make participation in WBL more appealing to businesses. (See Benefits to Employers above).
  • Schools will have the potential to increase their business and community connections through new employer relationships facilitated by Express WBL.
  • Express has additional employability skills development curriculum and training that will further enhance these critical skills for students.
  • Schools want to provide the best educational experiences for their students. When students are placed in a WBL experience that is not a good fit for the student or the employer, Express WBL can solicit another employer to place the student.
  • Students will graduate from programs with documentation of skill mastery and evidence of experience on their resumes.

For step-by-step instructions, partnership goals and roles, example scenarios, and a fillable WBL Express Agreement form, download our 2-page flyer, Guidelines brochure, and Agreement Form.

For more information, contact:

H.L. Baird, Statewide Work-Based Learning Liaison
Government & Economic Development Partnerships
Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education
Phone: 405.743.6812

Last Modified on Jun 28, 2023
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