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.