Tips on How to Take Advantage of CA
Before working at Lawrence High School, Jessy M. Abramson was the MassHire Connecting Activities Youth Counselor. We asked her for suggestions on how schools can best take advantage of MassHire Connecting Activities resources.
Plan early, share priorities and schedules.
Meet with the CA Team early to share priorities and schedules and discuss possible new initiatives in the pipeline that could be enhanced with Connecting Activities support.
Suggestion: Plan your big events for the year, such as job shadow day and career fairs, and then meet with your CA team to discuss resources the school has available, and what you need from CA to make events a success.
Make sure teachers & guidance staff know about Connecting Activities services.
Educate, and re-educate teachers and staff each year so they know how Connecting Activities can help. Spectacular examples:
- Teachers often want to connect real life jobs and careers to the subject they’re teaching. Ask the CA team to arrange a field trip or employer panel. Have CA invite a professional to present in the classroom like a nurse in health class or a green chemist in chemistry. CA pays for the bus, refreshments and a chaperone for field trips.
- Let teachers know when CA staff are onsite so they can direct students to one-on-one guidance.
- Do you have an Innovation Pathway internship program? Ask the CA team to prep students for internship success, and help you with employer contacts!
Make the connection.
Once students have a CA contact, there follows a progression of touch points with CA that pays off with big results. A student may start by getting help with a resume. Then attend an activity or event. Go on a job shadow and connect with an employer. Then enroll in an internship program, to later apply for a summer YouthWorks job – and the youth is off following a career pathway.
Leverage time and resources to increase capacity to serve students.
CA helps expand career development opportunities to more students. Counselors know their students best but have limited time. Leverage CA staff and resources to increase the number of students involved in a great variety of school to career activities. And remember, the CA team knows the local labor market and employer needs. They can quickly make the connection between students learning and interests and career opportunities ahead.
Creating opportunities for CA staff to successfully engage and connect with students is key to effectively delivering career development education. To that end, Jessy created a “go-to” website as a resource for teacher, students and partners. You can visit the site
Photo: LHS 10 graders visit to the State House. Rosangela Amaro from Connecting Activities is to the far left (in white) and Jessy Abramson is to the far right. CA provided transportation, lunch expenses, and a chaperone.