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May 17, 2021

MAC and Opportunity ATL Work-Based Learning Webinar


Last week, MAC and Opportunity ATL hosted a webinar featuring David Gaensbauer, Ashley Gravlee, and Jyothi Kadali with Novelis, and Dr. Dwionne Freeman with Atlanta Public Schools regarding Work-Based Learning (WBL). WBL allows students to implement skills they have learned in the classroom into practice in a real work environment.   

These speakers all shared valuable insights about their work with high school students and how their programs and partnerships could generate new opportunities in the Work-Based Learning space. As the leading producer of flat-rolled aluminum products and the world’s largest recycler of aluminum, Novelis is constantly seeking efficiency and innovative solutions. They have partnered with FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), the world’s leading youth-serving nonprofit advancing STEM education. Through their partnership, they coordinated 6-week interactive competitions, focused on solving major business issues that allow students to develop their skills in the STEM education space.

By working on one or two projects in a professional environment and gaining access to college students for mentorship, these high schoolers secure the resources they need to experience the workforce. The first 6-week program began in 2018, where students developed a prototype of a Novelis cash line that would assist in improving their bottom line. These opportunities allow these talented individuals the ability to network with current employees for future internships, receive a stipend, and list their names on the patents, so they receive credit for their contribution. While these projects occur in a small window of time, their legacy lives on in the company.

Dr. Freeman, Director of Career Technical and Agricultural Education (CTAE) for Atlanta Public Schools, explains the employer benefits of working with high school students that have an understanding in their designated field of application. Students are offered specific career pathways in their area of interest, starting out with three courses in their content area and improving their skills with an industry recognized credential. This knowledge ensures that seniors in high school have experience in their industry through WBL.

This type of hands-on experience serves as a great opportunity for jobseekers and employers alike. Partnering with companies and schools such as APS and Novelis allow employers to work firsthand with future talent and generate positive outcomes within their organizations.

The slides from our Novelis presenters can be found here. Dr. Freeman’s presentation can be found here


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