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What is Learn and Earn Program (LAP)?

Learn and Earn Program (LAP) is a program intended to give young people seeking work experience an ability of earning while studying. 

The program strives to link education and employment by preparing the participants with various critical skills that would be helpful in their upcoming careers. 

But before it was too late, here is a full guide on the Learn and Earn Program — what in precise is this software program, what are its blessings, and how does it work?

Overview of the Learn and Earn Program

The Learn and Earn Program is primarily targeted at youth, often those from underserved communities, to provide them with structured work experiences that are complemented by educational components. 

Generally city government works with non-profits and education to provide both an internship which pays a student money while working at the site, as well receiving academic credit for continued learning in addition to hands on practical experience.

Program Goals

  1. Work Experience: The primary objective is to provide valuable employment experience where key job skills are learned by participants.
  2. Educational Support: Programs include such features as career exploration, job readiness training and personal development workshops.
  3. Financial Compensation: Participants are paid with a stipend or an hourly wage that is meant to both support them financially and help instill the values of earning money through labor.
  4. Skill Development: The program hones technical and soft skills - these include (but are not limited to) the building of technology, communication, team work, critical thinking.

Key Components

Employment Opportunities

Participants are assigned to different work sites such as government agencies, non-profit organizations and private sector firms. The jobs that are given should be more like internships and they can provide the youth experience on what certain types of careers look like. 

Like many, Milwaukee is among the municipalities with a longstanding Earn & Learn Program that provides pathways to organized and structured works experiences for youth ages 14-24.

Educational Training

The Learn and Earn Program also consists of workshops to help students prepare for jobs - resume writing, interview preparation and financial literacy. Job readiness instruction is integrated into career exploration, like in the Chicago Housing Authority's summer program.

Financial Incentives

Most participants are compensated, usually with a stipend or an hourly wage. For instance, as part of the Earn and Learn Summer Youth Employment Program in Milwaukee - a paid work experience like no other offering wages and stipends totaling $2,400.

Benefits of the Learn and Earn Program

For Participants

  1. Skill Acquisition: Learners acquire skills relevant to their job placements that improves employability like time management, communication and specific technical tools.
  2. Financial Independence: Educate participants on earning money and the value of work to support their basic educational needs as well in building a sense of financial responsibility.
  3. Career Exploration: The program exposes participants to various career paths and helps inform participants of possible career paths so they may make fully informed decisions for their futures.
  4. Networking Opportunities: By working in different environments, participants have the opportunity to create a professional network that might well assist them in their forthcoming job searches.

For Communities

  1. Youth Empowerment: These programs empower young people by equipping them with the tools they need to succeed.
  2. Economic Benefits: The program is believed to support economic growth by providing young people with employable skills which contribute towards building an empowered workforce.
  3. Community Engagement: Involving youth in doing something that has a greater good brings communities closer and gives them the sense of ownership as well.

Program Examples

Chicago Housing Authority’s Summer Youth Employment Program

Chicago Housing Authority (CHA) has partnered with the Mayor's One Summer Chicago initiative to provide more than 2,000 youth with paid summer opportunities. 

Participants engage in paid work with continuous job readiness training and career exploration over a six-week period. Participants may earn a stipend or an hourly wage, depending on their age and program selection.

Employ Milwaukee’s Earn & Learn Program

Started in 2007 The City of Milwaukee's Earn & Learn Program places young adults aged 14-24 with summer work experiences and career exposure. The program provides work-based learning experiences and assessments of career opportunities that can lead to unsubsidized employment. It has successfully given work opportunities to more than 40,000 young adults in the area.

ACCESS NYC Learn & Earn

The Learn & Earn program in New York City is for high school juniors and seniors aged 16-21. Participants must have a social security number, be eligible to work in the United States and meet certain income requirements. By combining employment with school support, the program helps participants to navigate their reentry into society and work.

How to Apply

Generally speaking, applying for the small business Learn and Earn Program includes these steps:

  1. Eligibility Check: Ensure you meet the age, residency, and legal work requirements.
  2. Application Submission: Fill out an application, which may involve creating a profile or giving your personal details while you review available work.
  3. Documentation: Upload documents like identity proof, address proof, and income details.
  4. Interviews: Some programs require interviews to match you with one of our job placements.

In Chicago, an applicant must complete both the general One Summer Chicago application and a separate After School Matters-specific one to be eligible​.


The Learn and Earn Program is an initiative that showcases the importance of learning and earning for our youth. Its deliverables are structured work experience, continuous educational training, and financial remuneration so the participants can start their journey into their future professional lives. These programs facilitate young people, create economic opportunities at the community level, and contribute to building a better future.

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