HOLLAND, Iowa (AP) — Businesses partnering with the state to provide real-world student learning opportunities are expected to boost career education for rural Iowa school districts.

The state is using the recently unveiled Iowa Clearinghouse for Work-Based Learning to help students build job skills.

Iowa Department of Education Director Ryan Wise says it’s designed as a virtual workspace. Businesses, nonprofits and governmental organizations can post real-world tasks on a project board that students can then complete under the supervision of teachers. Teachers can also use it to connect students to job shadow, internship and apprenticeship opportunities.

Wise says the program will broaden access to learning that hasn’t been available for some students, especially those in rural areas.