Work-Based Learning Incentive (WBLI) 


Program Details

What is Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning is an educational approach that emphasizes practical, hands-on experience in a professional work setting as a means of complementing traditional classroom-based instruction. This type of learning can take many forms, such as internships, apprenticeships, on-the-job training, or job shadowing, and can occur at various stages of a person’s education and career development. The ultimate goal of work-based learning is to provide learners with relevant, real-world experience that prepares them for success in the workforce.

Why do Work-Based Learning?

Work-based learning is beneficial for businesses because it helps build a talent pipeline by exposing new talent to your work. This can also support future productivity and profitability by developing potential employees’ skills and fosters a culture of innovation and continuous improvement.

What is the Work-Based Learning Incentive (WBLI) Program?

In May of 2022 the Colorado State Legislature passed Senate Bill 22-140, creating the WBLI Program. The goal of the $3 million program is to increase and expand the number of work-based learning opportunities available to youth and adults across Colorado by providing monetary incentives to Employers to create new, or enhance existing, work-based learning programs. The WBLI Program will reimburse employers up to $10,000 for developing and implementing Work-Based Learning activities in your company through May 31, 2024.

Expenses related to WBL activities not funded by other grant sources are eligible for reimbursement. 

Interested in the Program?

Schedule a WBLI Program Navigation Call with Kylie Parks here or complete the below form.

Success Stories

Watch the below WBLIP Success Stories from Balefire Goods, Snarky Sweet Cake Chick, Salzano Electric, and Forward Steps.

    Scenarios for Reimbursement

    Learning About Work

    Career counseling, career planning, career fairs, career presentations, industry speakers, informational interviews, mentoring, worksite tours, project-based learning, job shadowing, externship. $2,500 maximum incentive.


    Career Fair

    Angelo with ACME Plumbing prepares for a two-day career fair at Arvada High School and meets over 50 candidates interested in plumbing. On the 2nd day, he is a speaker on an industry panel. He spent $300 on booth material, handouts and cookies* with ACME’s logo on them. He drove* from Littleton to Arvada.


    • Angelo’s Time Spent Preparing and Providing WBL: $30/hour x (10 hours preparing, 10 hours at the career fair & industry panel) = $600
    • Material: $215*
    • Mileage: 30 miles x $0.625/mile = $18.75
    • Achieved 8 of 10 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards =$500
    • Base Incentive = $833.75
    • All participants are youth (Target Audience) = $250
    • Additional Incentive Total = $250
    • Grand Total = $1,083.75

    *Food and staff driving time are not a reimbursable expense


    Learning Through Work

    Clinical experiences, Credit-for-work experiences, internships, pre-apprenticeships, industry-sponsored project, supervised entrepreneurship experience. $6,500 maximum incentive.



    Paula with Mailinator Inc. improves upon last year’s intern program from participant feedback and aligns the program with 15 of the 15 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards defined by the State. She hires an intern Cedric to complete 480 over the summer. He doesn’t have a car so Paula gives him bus passes for transportation. Paula coaches and trains* Cedric on the job. On his last day she gives him a Best Intern Ever Mug* and gift card* to his favorite restaurant as a thank you and congratulations on completion.


    • Paula’s Time Enhancing Existing WBL & Hiring: $35/hour x 15 hours = $525
    • $114/ monthly bus pass x 3 months = $342
    • 480 Hour Placement = $1,200
    • Achieved at least 12 out of 15 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards = $1,000
    • Base Incentive = $3,067
    • Cedric is over 50 (Target Audience) = $500
    • Achieved 15 out of 15 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards = $500
    • Additional Incentive Total = $1,000
    • Grand Total = $4,067

    *Participant gifts and staff time spent during the WBL activity are not reimbursable expenses


    Learning At Work

    Apprenticeship, On-the-job training, employee development, residencies, incumbent worker training. $10,000 maximum incentive.


    On-The-Job Training

    Rhonda at GHI Company hires Amanda as an apprenticeship director. Amanda launches a 2-year apprenticeship program and places 3 participants. She participates in a cohort of continuous learning for apprenticeship program development.


    • Rhonda’s Time Hiring: $45/hour x 15 hours = $675
    • Amanda’s Time Developing WBL and Training: $30/hour x 120 hours = $3,600
    • =$4,275 staff salaries*
    • *$3,500 max incentive for development & placement
    • At least 720 Hour Placement = $2,500
    • Achieved at least 12 out of 15 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards = $2,000
    • Base Incentive = $8,000
    • Additional 2 placements = $2,000
    • Achieved 15 out of 15 Quality Work-Based Learning Standards = $1,000*
    • *Only $2,000 of the additional incentive is reimbursable for a max of $10,000
    • Additional Incentive Total = $2,000
    • Grand Total = $10,000

    This grant allows for personalized support of participants who are in specific need to access WBL. Examples include transportation vehicle upkeep and parking; fees related to employment preparation and job training; work tools and equipment; legal fees related to employment; and other scenarios. Please contact us to assess participant need prior to incurring these expenses.


    How do I apply?

    Please complete the form at the top of this page. You will be notified via email of your acceptance into the program. Once accepted, you must sign an agreement with more details to guide you through eligible expenses and onboarding material. The Arvada Chamber team is committed to your success and will be available to answer any questions and support you as you navigate defining your work-based learning goals and reimbursement requests. Unfortunately, funds are limited to $400,000 in total disbursements and will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    I don’t have any programs like this at my company but I’m interested! How do I learn more about the eligible activities? 

    We understand that employers may be starting at different points and this grant meets you where you are by offering incentives for the design and placement of participants in your program. As noted above, the activity types and opportunities vary in time commitment and scope. The official checklist of reimbursable activities for this program is linked here. Please also review the State of Colorado’s definitions of Quality Expectations of Work-Based Learning activities linked here

    How do I get reimbursed?

    Reporting and other proof of activity documentation will be collected on a monthly basis as defined in your agreement. Reimbursements are made by electronic deposit.

    What if I end up changing direction?

    Funds are limited for this program. If you decide to not participate or reduce your planned activities, you must advise the Arvada Chamber of Commerce staff. You will receive reminders to submit your monthly reporting for reimbursement. Lack of response over time will be deemed as deactivation from the program.

    What if I provide WBL beyond May 31, 2024?

    Excellent! Keep going! Approved activities through May 31, 2024 are reimbursable for this program.