Organization Profile: Shasta County Twenty-First Century Career Connections (STC3) is an outgrowth of the local school-to-work partnership. It continues to build connections between schools, businesses, community organizations, and agencies to improve transitions for youth from school to adulthood. Its mission is “to engage youth, parents, educational institutions, business partners, and community organizations to enhance academic and career readiness for all youth.”
States of Operation: CA
ODEP Funded: Yes
Profile Year: 2007
Career Preparation and Work-Based Learning Experiences: While STC3, the local intermediary organization, did not provide direct services, it created resources and built a higher capacity for schools, businesses, and community-based service providers (both public and non-profit) to better serve youth with disabilities. One major project undertaken was the development of a youth-focused career planning and guidance tool. The set of tools are intended to be used both by youth directly and by teachers and guidance counselors who work with youth in career planning (www.shastacareerconnections.net).
The career interest and planning tools guide youth through a process that leads to the development of a career plan. This career plan includes the youth’s goals, interests, talents, skills, as well as job search information. The process has two assessment tools, including an adaptation of the Holland Career Interest Inventory that helps youth determine the type of careers they might be interested in. This is supplemented by a survey that assesses learning strengths and styles. The results of the surveys are color-coded to cross reference the industry or job clusters (called industry mobility paths) which match the interests and learning strengths of the test takers. Within each cluster there is a listing of possible jobs and corresponding educational and experience requirements for the positions.
From these tools, youth develop the one page “TIPS” sheet (http://www.shastacareerconnections.net/tipsforsuccess-youth.doc) which can be folded and put into a card-sized plastic case. This aids the youth as they plan for their post-secondary education and employment. Special education teachers, vocational teachers, and counselors in the local high schools have been given these tools along with supplemental resources so that they can work with youth in completing the process. In-school and out-of-school youth can also access the website, complete the inventories, and create the “TIPS” career plan document on their own.
Youth Development and Leadership: STC3 sought the input of youth in all the products and resources developed. Youth assisted with the design of the “TIPS” career planning tool. They assisted with the website design and participated in the creation of two videos on transition. Three of the participating schools implemented student-led individualized education programs or IEPs as a result of this project. Students developed their transition plan in advance of the meeting, and used self-advocacy skills to work with a team to identify services needed to implement their plans.
Family Involvement and Supports: STC3 held two parent training workshops and included parents in all of the forums that were provided to develop the project activities. Parents of youth in special education were invited to attend the parent training workshops. These workshops were designed to provide parents with information to assist their youth in transition planning. Parents attending the workshop received a series of one- to two-page informational sheets on various aspects of transition planning. Among the topics included in the information materials was information on secondary transition planning and services, keys to successful transition, career planning information, and several checklists of activities and resources needed for successful transition.
Organization Name: Shasta County Twenty-First Century Career Connections
Organization Director: Sue Sawyer
Program Name: Shasta County Futures Project
Street Address: 1201 Placer Street
Contact Person: Sue Sawyer
Contact E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org