Increasing Work-Based Learning Opportunities for High School Students

The Institute for Workforce Excellence's Work and Learn Indiana (WLI) program, in partnership with the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, is introducing a statewide rollout of high school EARN Indiana.

EARN Indiana funds are being made available to employers across the state that offer high-quality work-based learning experiences to high school students. Employers can post their internships on the WLI site, apply for EARN approval and connect with students.

In order to receive EARN Indiana's 50% student wage reimbursement, employer's work-based learning experiences must meet the following criteria:

  • Internship must provide experiential learning
  • Internship must be paid hourly
  • Internship must be at least eight weeks in duration
  • Intern must work a minimum of 12 hours per week, and no more than 20 hours per week during the academic year (August 16 – April 26), or 40 hours per week during summer (April 27 – August 15)
  • Intern activities may not be political or sectarian
  • No more than 25% of an intern's work can be administrative in nature
  • No more than 50% of your workforce may be interns
  • Federal Work-Study funds or other grants may not be received for the internship
  • Intern cannot be with the same employer for more than one year/365 days

The intern's activities must also align with the Next Level Jobs industries listed below:

  • Advanced manufacturing
  • Building and construction
  • Health and life sciences
  • IT and business services
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Education
  • Agriculture

Employers must fill their work-based learning experience with an eligible high school student on WLI's site to qualify.

In order for high school students to qualify, an educator at their school must enroll them in the program. This must be done before employers can seek reimbursement. Any student attending an Indiana secondary school is eligible to participate in the EARN program, which will be limited to $1 million for 2023-2024.

Next Steps

Employers, educators and students are encouraged to sign up for a free Work and Learn Indiana account to get started.

Employers: Post your internship on and select that you want to utilize high school EARN Indiana funds when posting
Educators: Fill out the participation form (Reminder: Educators from the high school must enroll students in the program for employers to receive reimbursement)