Massachusetts Work-Based Learning

Resources and Instructions

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About this website. This website provides "how-to" information about using the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan and about using the Massachusetts Career Readiness (MA-CR) Database.  The website also provides resources to support the development of youth employment programs, to share information among programs, and to provide ideas for quality youth employment placements.  The site is designed for use by staff, youth and employers in Massachusetts programs that use the Work-Based Learning Plan.   Also -- many of the resources are also valuable for youth employment programs anywhere.

What is the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan? The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan is used to structure youth employment placements, including summer jobs, internships, cooperative education placements, volunteer and service learning experiences, and more.  It is a four-page document (or four screens if used online).  It is a diagnostic, goal setting and assessment tool designed to drive learning and productivity on the job. It is used throughout Massachusetts to structure co-op, internship, summer job and other work-based learning placements. The Work-Based Learning Plan includes a job description, a description of the Foundation Skills and Career and Workplace Specific Skills used in the student’s placement and a performance review section.

Quick Links:

One-page Fact Sheet [Word]

Paper Copy of the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan [Word]

Spanish version of the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan [Word]

Portuguese version of the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan [Word]

PowerPoint Presentations

Database Link:

What's New?

Visit the "What's New in the Database" page (available from the menu along the left) for news and announcements about new database features and about other new resources that complement your work.  The "What's New" announcements are also visible when you sign into the database, displayed on the database welcome page after you sign in.


Key Points About the Database

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Working at computerThe Massachusetts Career Readiness Database (MA-CR Database) can be found at and/or  This database is used by a variety of programs across Massachusetts, including the School to Career Connecting Activities program and many of the Cooperative Education programs, YouthWorks, WIA Youth, local summer jobs programs and other programs.

The database provides a placement screen for recording and managing placement information, plus screens for each section of the WBLP, including the job description, skills/tasks, and performance reviews.  It also provides a menu of reports and a bank of sample job descriptions and skills/tasks, a rubric for evaluating foundation skills, and, coming soon, reflection questions to guide student reflections.  Here are some key points about the database:

  1. SIGNING UP. Sign up for a usename and password at   When you sign up to use the database, you can sign up as as staff, employer or intern.  If you are signing up for a staff account, you'll need an access code (available from your regional office or from Jennifer Leonard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ).
  2. SHARING and PRIVACY. The database is designed to facilitate collaboration, while maintaining privacy and confidentiality.  You can collaborate with co-workers, supervisors, participants or teachers to write and view WBLPs.  There are two ways to share information with others. 1.) When you sign up to use the online WBLP, you can list the email (username) of up to three co-workers with whom you want to share all the information you enter. 2.) As you fill in each WBLP, you can list the email (username) of the participant, supervisor, program staff and/or teacher or other contact person, and give them access to view and/or work on the WBLP.
  3. NAVIGATING IN THE DATABASE.  Navigation in the database is intuitive.  You will start at a main menu page, and from there, click a button to start a new record.  Or you will click the various buttons to open existing records.  You can navigate to the placement screen (which provides basics about the job placement) to the job description, skills, and reviews screens.  Staff also have access to a reports menu with summary reports and lists.  All database users also have access to a "bank" of sample job descriptions and skiills/tasks.  Feel free to explore to learn more about the database.
  4. SAVING. Use the "Save" buttons on the screens to save your work. You’ll be prompted to save if you forget.
  5. FILLING IN PLACEMENT DETAILS (optional vs. required information).  The placement screen in the database requests basic information about the job placement, including the participant name, supervisor name, school, employer, start date, end date, hourly wage, if any, hours per week, etc.  Program staff see a more detailed version of the placement screen with additional program enrollment details.  This screen has color-coded icons that indicate what information is required for your program.
  6. Dropdown lists – The screens provide some customized dropdown lists. Most of these lists are based on information entered by you or others in your region.
  7. Job Descriptions and Skills – you can get ideas and sample job descriptions and skills/tasks from the "Job Description Bank" within the program (click the buttons for the bank of job descriptions and the bank of skills/tasks) and from the online resources at
  8. Setting up routines.  Work with your colleagues or co-workers to set up routines for the database:
    • Who enters the information on the placement form?
    • When do you enter this information?
    • Who writes the job description and list of skills/tasks?
    • Who completes the performance reviews and writes goals and comments?
    • How can you be consistent in entering school names, activity names, organization names, career areas, job titles, etc.?
    • What reports will you run to review and analyze data?  Who runs these reports?  How do you use the data from reports to continually build and improve your youth programs?

Questions and Suggestions. Database users can email Jennifer Leonard at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it for assistance and to provide suggestions.  The database and these resource pages are continually improved and enhanced based on suggestions by database users.


Key Points About the WBLP

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The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan is designed to be easy-to-use and intuitive!


The article "Implementing the Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan" provides an introduction to the use of the Work-Based Learning Plan.  This website also provides several PowerPoint presentations, including "Introduction to the WBLP - For Employers" and "Introduction to the WBLP - For Youth" that provide a good introduction to the goals, history and content of the WBLP.

The WBLP may be completed online (at or on paper (download here).

The Massachusetts Work-Based Learning Plan was developed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education through an interagency collaboration of employers, educators and workforce development professionals.