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The Collaborative Online Workforce Education and Training Portal, a demonstration project created in 2008, tested the idea that online and hybrid training options offered through a state’s workforce development system could be centralized through a single portal. This project was funded by the U.S. Department of Labor Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA)and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Four states were selected to participate: Colorado, Maine, Mississippi, and
Pennsylvania. The pilot was designed to centralize access to online certificate programs through a single Web portal, to provide easy accessibility to coursework for clients and workforce staff, and to foster sharing of online certificate programming between states. The result was the creation of the Workforce Online Learning Information Portal (WOLIP), housed by the Southern Regional Education Board (SREB). While the centerpiece of this project was the WOLIP portal, the pilot has also served as a vehicle for participating states to introduce and test new methods of using online learning as a training option within their respective workforce development systems, as well as to test the use of online learning with new populations. This presentation will take a close look at findings from this project, how this program was implemented and worked, and will how young people could and did benefit from this online training. The project lead from Maine will also participate in the discussion and will talk about Maine’s experience and lessons learned.