Connecting Activities (CA) is a Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) initiative that leverages a statewide infrastructure to support “college and career readiness” for all students.
The CA line item in the state budget establishes public-private partnerships through the 16 local workforce development boards (WIBs) to connect schools and businesses. These partners provide structured work-based learning and career development experiences for students that support academic and employability skill attainment.
The MHGLWB Connecting Activities Employer Service Specialist and Career Specialist work with area employers to develop relationships and facilitate part-time, after-school and weekend jobs as well as summer job opportunities for youth ages 16-21.
The Employer and Career Specialist visit high schools in our region on a weekly basis to provide students with applications, job coaching and assistance on their quest for employment.
Connecting Activities staff supports a wide range of activities beyond work experiences, including job fairs, job shadow days, career days, employer guest speaker series, workshops and other career development activities.
Our Connecting Activities Employer Services Specialist has brokered strong relationships with many of our local businesses over the years. The businesses love that we work so closely with our youth, preparing them for the workplace and teaching them about work ethic and professionalism. CA staff coordinate with employers annually to offer job fairs on-site at our local high schools.
Students work with the CA employer services specialist to learn job search techniques and apply for jobs:
- On-line application assistance
- Completion of paper applications
- Referrals to employers
- Mock interviewing
- Resumes and cover letters
- Job fair preparation
Students receive services one-on-one and in group settings to learn the necessary soft skills to be successful in a job:
- Attendance and punctuality expected by the workplace
- Workplace appearance appropriate for position and duties
- Accepting direction and constructive criticism with a positive attitude and response
- Motivation and taking initiative
- Understanding workplace culture, policy and safety, including respecting confidentiality and workplace ethic
View five employers from different industries providing tips to prepare students for interviews and the workplace.
Employers highlighted are Brandie Anderson, Walmart; Katey Blake, Holiday Inn Express; Vichtcha Kong, Washington Savings Bank; David Correa, Mills 42 Federal Credit Union; and Harry Cheema, Mr. Mac’s Macaroni and Cheese.
How to Get, Keep, and Learn from a Job: A Presentation and Discussion with HR Experts
The MassHire’s Greater Lowell Workforce Board’s Connecting Activities program brings a panel of Human Resources experts from different industries to discuss how to get a job and keep it. Connecting Activities brings work-based learning activities to students annually and this year due to the pandemic a video was developed of an employer panel. Though the video of the panel is intended for high school students, the information is important for anyone who is looking for a job.
In order to prepare students to talk with employers, a panel of five employers were brought together to discuss the soft skills necessary to succeed in the workforce.
- Maureen Fitzpatrick – Lowell General Hospital, Human Resources Business Partner, PHR
- Kaitlin Swett – Lowell Five Bank, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources
- Tess Shatzer – Lowell National Historical Park, Supervisory Park Ranger
- Jessika Fabiano – Thermo Fisher Scientific, Director, Early Talent Programs
- Kerilynne O’Brien – TJ Maxx, ASM Operations Manager
These HR industry experts shared tools and guidance to position a jobseeker to be the best candidate and have the confidence to navigate the job search process. They reviewed the process of job applications and how to prepare a jobseeker to stand out as a candidate.
The video runs on local public access television stations in Lowell, Dracut, Tewksbury and Chelmsford.
To access the employer panel video on YouTube: