About Us

The Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship is comprised of a unique blend of industry and education professionals who have extensive experience implementing work-based learning pathways.

These important pathways enable businesses to establish high quality talent pipelines and help foster student employability skill development, for both youth and adult populations.

Click here to view the executive order, signed by Governor Holcomb, which established the Indiana Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship.

Team Expertise

OWBLA Capabilities and Support

  • Public-Private Partnership Development
  • Community Engagement
  • Secondary Education Requirements
  • New High School Graduation Pathways
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Post-Secondary Training Options
  • Graduation Requirements
  • In-Demand Industry Certifications
  • Industry Human Resources Support
  • U.S. DOL Rules/Restrictions
  • Business Development
  • Work-Based Learning Grant Opportunities (Federal and State)

Staff Bios

  • Darrel Zeck, Executive Director

    Previously, he served as Vice President of Stark Industries, an aerospace manufacturing company, in Terre Haute, Indiana. In that role, he was responsible for business development, military and government relations, and workforce development. Appointed by Gov. Mike Pence in 2014, and reappointed by Gov. Eric Holcomb, Mr. Zeck served as a State Trustee for Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana where he held the positions of board secretary and chairman of the Workforce Alignment Committee. On a national level, he was a member of the Public Policy and Advocacy Committee for the Association of Community College Trustees, and has also served on various community and professional boards. In addition to being a pilot for more than 25 years, he is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, where he worked with Air Force One and other special operations missions. Most recently, he worked in command and control with the 181st Intelligence Wing of the Indiana Air National Guard.

  • Carrie Lively, Senior Director

    Prior to her current role, she worked in the public education system as a teacher, school counselor and administrator. In these positions, Carrie focused her efforts to improve curriculum, ensuring that it provided students a real-world application of the information they were learning on a daily basis. Ms. Lively also developed and expanded robust work-based learning programs, which offered students experience that deliberately connected high school education with their post-high school aspirations. It is this experience that led her to her current role. As the Senior Director of the Office of Work-Based Learning and Apprenticeship, she is dedicated to expanding work-based learning opportunities for all Hoosier students and adults. She serves on numerous state and national policy advisory boards to continue to advocate for the expansion of work-based learning for students across America. Carrie is a proud former student-athlete and coach, and a graduate from Ball State University, where she has earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.

  • Matt DeGolyer, Regional Director

    Formerly, he served as a K-12 teacher before deciding to pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Health Administration at Indiana University. During his time in graduate school, he completed multiple internships in the healthcare industry and developed a passion for the value of work-based learning opportunities. Fueled by his own positive experience with work-based learning, he transitioned into a Work-Based Learning Specialist role with Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to improving economic and community prosperity in southwest central Indiana. Matt served as a catalyst to help expand work-based learning opportunities for students and adults in a variety of key economic sectors. He intends to leverage his unique professional experience to create strong working relationships between industry and educational institutions in order to provide more robust work-based learning opportunities for Indiana residents.

  • Matthew Presley, Regional Director

    Prior to this position, Matt served 15 years in public education as an English teacher and College and Career Readiness Coordinator. As a teacher, Matt primarily worked with senior students to develop employability skills through a project-based learning course he created focused on career exploration and work-based learning experiences. As a coordinator, Matt expanded internships and mentorship opportunities for students through various business and community engagement initiatives.

    Matt is passionate about developing strategic partnerships between education and industry. He served as a member of the Career Coaching and Navigation Action Team created under the direction of Governor Holcomb’s Workforce Cabinet. He also served on an Indiana Department of Education committee that drafted Indiana’s K-12 Employability Skills Standards. Matt is a graduate of Indiana University and holds a BA in Education and an MA in English. He also holds a Career and Technical Education License in Business and Marketing.

  • Mee Hee Smith, Regional Director

    Previously, she spent 10 years in secondary education as a teacher, instructional coach, and CTE Director. In her positions in education, Ms. Smith was responsible for increasing the number of dual credit courses offered, creating two CNA programs, and execute targeted instructional plans to increase state assessment attainment. She was responsible for launching the career academies in Indianapolis Public Schools focusing on Health Sciences and Education where she created work-based learning programs with industry partnerships to support K-12 education. Prior to her career in education, Ms. Smith worked as a perfusionist operating a heart-lung machine during open-heart procedures with the Detroit Medical Center. She is a member of ACTE and serves on healthcare advisory boards in Indianapolis. Mee Hee holds degrees from the University of Illinois at Chicago, Midwestern University-Glendale, and Marian University.

  • Brittany Van Hook, Operations Coordinator

    She comes to the office with over twelve years of extensive experience in Event Management, Tourism and Office Management most recently serving as a personal assistant on a world tour and previously as the Coordinator of Business Operations for a highly successful Destination Management Company. She has vast experience working with coordination of events, logistics, loves interacting with people, and has a knack for organization. Brittany has been fortunate to serve in a variety of capacities with major events including 2012 Indianapolis Super Bowl, NCAA Final Four, Kentucky Derby, Indianapolis 500, US Conference of Mayors and many more. She is actively engaged in her community, can be frequently found volunteering, and is an avid supporter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Be the Match. She was a proud recipient of a 2016 ROSE Award, attended Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis and has a Bachelor’s degree in Tourism, Conventions and Event Management.