Officials from the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship (OWBLA) joined Fort Wayne Community Schools (FWCS) representatives, employer partners, students, and community stakeholders May 10 in formally recognizing FWCS Career Academy for their efforts in the development and the certification of nine State Earn and Learn (SEAL) programs.

SEALs serve as both Indiana’s state-level apprenticeship and U.S. Department of Labor pre-apprenticeship programs. They are designed to deliver a work-and-learn experience for participants along with the skills and certifications that employers value.

The Fort Wayne Career Academy SEALs are in the following career pathways: Carpentry, Construction Electrical, HVAC, Masonry, Welding, Automotive Service Technology, Automotive Collision Repair, Software Development, and IT/Networking.

“We are excited to work with the OWBLA and our community business partners to certify nine different SEAL programs,” said Jesse Webb, Principal and Director at the Fort Wayne Career Academy  “And we are fortunate to have so many wonderful business partners in Allen County to work with. Our SEAL programs are aligned to the pipelines that Dr. Mark Daniel has identified for FWCS. It is a win-win for all involved.”

The nine SEAL programs are aligned to the Indiana Office of Career and Technical Education (OCTE) new Next Level Programs of Study and include multiple employer partners that provide opportunities for students to work and learn through paid internships and employment. Students in each program also earn several industry-valued credentials and college credit through either Ivy Tech Community College or Vincennes University.

Matt Presley, Regional Director in the OWBLA, said, “With the development and certification of nine SEAL programs, Fort Wayne Career Academy has not only established itself as a leader in providing best-practice work-based learning experiences for their students, but also created and solidified true talent pipelines that deliver highly trained and engaged employees for employers across Allen County.”

Northeast Indiana Works President and CEO Edmond O’Neal also spoke at the ceremonies.