CWI Launches Work-Based Learning Center

John Russ, Director of the Work-Based Learning Center, is passionate about connecting skilled students into the workforce.
John Russ, Director of the Work-Based Learning Center, is passionate about connecting skilled students into the workforce.
February 25, 2022

College of Western Idaho's (CWI) new Work-Based Learning Center is an exciting resource connecting students and the business community to combine classroom learning with hands-on work experience.  

"This is such a great opportunity for the CWI student population," said John Russ, Director of the Work-Based Learning Center. "Students feel supported, encouraged, and are able to see how their education connects directly to career opportunities. I’m excited to lead the vision of the Work-Based Learning Center and look forward to students and employers benefiting from the Center.”

The Work-Based Learning Center offers a connection between students and employers by combining instruction with practical work experience. Students choose the correct academic pathway to support their goals by working with staff through one-on-one assistance, finding hands-on internships, job shadowing, apprenticeships, and providing employers with tools for financial assistance.

"I can't thank the staff enough at the Work-Based Learning Center for all their encouragement and wonderful resources," underscored CWI Biology graduate Rachel Pender, who recently accepted a full-time position in the anatomic cytology lab at St. Luke's as an apprentice. "It's made this whole process so much more enjoyable, feeling like I have people rooting for me."

Assistant Vice President of Economic Development, Christi Gilchrist adds, "Students succeed when the classroom learning experience connects to employment and career opportunities. With faculty busy teaching and businesses busy running their businesses, the Work-Based Learning Center is the connector for students and employers. The center would not be possible if the Idaho Workforce Development Council had not engaged in a statewide endeavor to focus and define Work-Based Learning."

The development of this center illustrates CWI's commitment to empowering the community by providing this student and employer centric center focusing on connecting CWI students to employers in key sectors of the economy.

Russ added, "The creation of the Work-Based Learning Center, will also strengthen CWI's impact on the local economy, employment and community engagement. Employers are excited to have a single point of contact with the College to get the word out about the many opportunities they have to offer."

Visit the Work-Based Learning Center online, or call 208.562.2562 to learn more.