This section provides information for organizations working with youth and policy makers on career exploration, employment options, and research-based best practices for transition youth to adulthood and the world of work.

Apprenticeship Workshop Training Modules

With the support of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment PolicyNCWD/Youth developed two sets of apprenticeship training modules and a strategic planning exercise that can be used after either module. The modules can be used by individuals to learn independently about apprenticeship, or a facilitator can use the modules to train groups. These materials will be useful for youth service professionals, workforce board administrators, state and local apprenticeship coordinators, representatives from community colleges and other training providers, and potential and current apprenticeship employers.

Ayudando a los jóvenes a Desarrollar Habilidades Sociales para tener Éxito en el Trabajo: Consejos para los Padres y las Familias

Este breve informativo trata la importancia de las habilidades sociales y ofrece estrategias que los padres pueden usar para ayudar a sus hijos a desarrollar habilidades para el éxito en el trabajo.

Building Lasting Connections to Employers: Developing Community-Wide Intermediaries

This research brief focuses a new type of organization which is changing how employers are engaged in workforce investment. These organizations operate as community-wide intermediaries, linking an array of service providers to businesses and to each other.

Bullying and Disability Harassment in the Workplace: What Youth Should Know

This InfoBrief is designed to help youth, including youth with disabilities, recognize signs of bullying in the workplace, and to recognize how bullying differs from disability harassment. The brief offers examples of bullying situations at work and offers strategies to help address the issue. Much is understood about the negative consequences of bullying at school, but youth should also be made aware that bullying does not end at school. It is often encountered at work as well.

By Youth for Youth: Employment

By Youth, for Youth: Employment was written by youth for youth who want to know more about finding and keeping the right job. It is important to consider what makes a job right for each young person, where to look, and how to write a resume and interview. Youth with disabilities also need to consider disability disclosure in the workplace and how to ask for accommodations, if needed. After accepting a job offer, youth can take advantage of opportunities for mentoring and continuing to build their skills. This brief covers each of these topics and provides information on supports like vocational rehabilitation and transportation. 

Career Exploration in Action: An Innovative Strategies Practice Brief

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to engage youth in career exploration. The youth programs and school systems featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies.

Career-Focused Services for Students with Disabilities at Community Colleges

This case study report examines the efforts of community colleges to function as intermediaries in meeting the local workforce development needs of employers and promoting career opportunities and job attainment for students, including those with disabilities.

Comprehensive Career Planning and Its Role in the Competitive Global Economy

This white paper chronicles the gaps and inconsistencies in implementation of career guidance services in and out of schools, as well as the lack of measures for career development and guidance services in America. The paper posits that these challenges stem from the lack of a governmental policy framework that promotes the systematic value of career guidance services as a strategy for meeting economic and security needs of the nation. The paper offers a number of recommendations, including: 1) improving the quality of the K-12 school career development and guidance system; 2) increasing the capacity of postsecondary and workforce development programs serving out-of-school youth and at-risk populations; 3) convening policy makers and researchers to develop consensus on performance measures definitions; and 4) improving professional development opportunities for staff involved in career development and career guidance services.

Disability Inquiries In The Workforce Development System

This InfoBrief is for those working in One-Stop centers as well as youth and adult service providers who interact with individuals with disabilities. It is designed to help clarify what you can and cannot ask about someone's disability.

Engaging Youth in Work Experiences: An Innovative Strategies Practice Brief

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to engage youth in work experiences. Work experiences are both paid and unpaid opportunities to work and practice career readiness skills. The work experiences described in this brief include internships, summer jobs, youth-run businesses/entrepreneurship, service projects and volunteer work, and part-time jobs. The youth programs featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies.

Everybody Learns, Everybody Works: Using Universal Design for Learning in Workforce Development Programs

This InfoBrief for professionals who work directly with youth in workforce development programs explains the principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an educational model that makes any general curriculum accessible to all learners, regardless of learning style. The brief describes how UDL principles can be used in work experiences and training settings to moe effectively and efficiently engage all youth, including youth with disabilities.

Facilitating Employer Engagement Among Wib Partners: A Role For Intermediaries

This InfoBrief focuses on how Workforce Investment Boards (WIBs) can ensure strong business leadership roles in their state and local workforce systems by creating and fostering intermediaries that effectively link employers with One-Stops and their partners. Strategies and examples are shared that illustrate how intermediaries can facilitate, coordinate, and streamline employer engagement responsibilities among WIB partners.

Helping Youth Build Work Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

This InfoBrief addresses the need for youth to acquire work skills and offers strategies parents and families can use to work with their youth to develop skills that lead to success on the job. This InfoBrief also includes information on how to incorporate work skill development into school documents, such as the Individualized Education Program and the Summary of Performance.

Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success (Podcast)

This podcast series provides ideas for parents and families on activities they can do at home and include in their child's Individualized Education Program (IEP) to ensure he or she develops skills needed for job success by the time he or she completes high school.

Helping Youth Develop Soft Skills for Job Success: Tips for Parents and Families

This InfoBrief discusses the importance of soft skills and offers strategies parents and families can use to help their child develop skills for employment success.

Helping Youth with Learning Disabilities Chart the Course: A Guide for Youth Service Professionals

This InfoBrief describes challenges faced by youth and young adults with learning disabilities as they reach adulthood, while highlighting strategies youth service professionals can implement to help youth to transition successfully into the workplace.

Individualized Learning Plans How-to Guide

This guide is designed for schools, educators, and other professionals who assist youth with college and career readiness and transition planning. This guide was developed in response to feedback from schools indicating a need for curriculum and implementation guidelines to support whole-school buy-in for implementing individualized learning plans (ILPs). A key goal of the guide is to help schools develop a bridge between college and career readiness efforts through the use of ILPs and help youth achieve prosperous and productive lives. The career development activities and resources in this guide are also useful for youth service professionals in the workforce development system.

Making the Connections: Growing and Supporting New Organizations: Intermediaries (Brief)

The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) of the US Department of Labor (DOL) is testing a new organizational strategy — intermediary organizations. By aligning and brokering multiple services across institutional and funding sources, intermediary organizations can play an important role in improving employment outcomes for youth with disabilities while at the same time assisting employers in meeting their need for qualified skilled workers. This InfoBrief is for policymakers and program managers at the state and community level that are involved in developing intermediaries.

Math, Science, and Technology: Essential Skills for Career Success in the 21st Century

This InfoBrief focuses on targeted career planning efforts for youth. The brief provides basic information on math, science, and technology as a fundamental need in our day-to-day lives, and highlights suggested academic coursework to better prepare young adults for the top growing careers.

Personalized Learning: Policy Insights from Four States

This Policy Brief describes findings from a case study of four states using individualized learning plans as a strategic education policy to personalize student’s educational experience in an effort to raise their academic achievement and better prepare them for post-secondary education and employment.

Road to Self-Sufficiency: A Guide to Entrepreneurship for Youth with Disabilities

This guide serves as a resource for organizations working with youth on career exploration and employment options, and policymakers who support youth programs through policy and practice. The Guide shows how entrepreneurship education can be implemented in programs and offers suggestions on how to introduce self-employment as an option for all youth, including youth with disabilities.

State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success - Maryland

The Maryland Department of Education’s Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) has used the Guideposts for Success (the Guideposts) to develop and pilot a seamless transition services model called the Maryland Seamless Transition Collaborative (MSTC). The Guideposts, which were initially adopted by DORS in the context of implementing a High School/High Tech Grant awarded by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, have provided the agency and its partners with a research-based framework for aligning and coordinating services across various agencies and service providers to increase youth outcomes across the state. 

State Perspectives on Using the Guideposts for Success - South Carolina

The South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department (SCVRD) uses the Guideposts for Success (the Guideposts) as a framework for defining, developing, and tracking its youth transition services and programs throughout the state. SCVRD has chosen to use the Guideposts because it identifies proven strategies for meeting the holistic needs of youth transitioning from high school to employment, postsecondary education, and independent living. The Guideposts framework is comprised of five areas: school-based preparatory experiences, career preparation and work-based learning experiences, youth development and leadership, connecting activities, and family involvement and supports.

Strategies for Youth Workforce Programs to Become Employer-Friendly Intermediaries

This InfoBrief focuses on how youth-serving organizations can become more effective as intermediary linkages between youth and employers by adopting certain practices. This brief offers basic employer-friendly strategies that will assist intermediaries and their representatives in making productive connections with employer customers that can result in successful work experiences for youth. Increasingly, state and local workforce boards and their youth-service-providing partners are realizing the need to assess their capacities and strategies to link with and provide supports to employers.

Successful Transition Models for Youth with Mental Health Needs: A Guide for Workforce Professionals

This InfoBrief describes the systems’ service barriers faced by youth with mental health needs as they reach adulthood, while highlighting new models and strategies designed to break down those barriers and help them to transition successfully into the workplace.

Tapping into the Power of Families: How Families of Youth with Disabilities Can Assist in Job Search and Retention

This InfoBrief explores the important role families and other caring adults play in the career planning, job search, and job retention of youth with disabilities.

Toward Universal Access in the Workforce Development System

This paper explores the core concepts of “universal service,” which has a very distinct meaning inside the employment and training arena, and that of “universal design” in the context of disability public policy. In addition, this paper urges the adoption of a comprehensive definition of universal access that would apply across all titles of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) to all programs and services in the One-Stop system and incorporate elements of universal access, universal service, architectural accessibility, programmatic accessibility, and universal design, as defined in the disability policy arena.

Universal Design for the Workforce Development System

This resource has been developed to assist workforce development policymakers and program operators in assessing their ability to meet the needs of their customers.

Using Career Interest Inventories to Inform Career Planning

This Innovative Strategies Practice Brief provides practical examples and resources used by promising and exemplary youth programs to conduct career interest inventories with youth. The youth programs featured in this brief have been recognized by NCWD/Youth as Innovative Strategies. NCWD/Youth's Innovative Strategies features workforce development programs and practices that serve youth with disabilities, either as a target population or as part of other youth populations.

Work-Based Learning Jump Start

Work-based learning is a supervised program sponsored by an education or training organization that links knowledge gained at the worksite with a planned program of study. Experiences range in intensity, structure and scope and include activities as diverse as site visits, job shadowing, paid and unpaid internships, structured on-the-job training, and the more formal work status as apprentice or employee.

Working with Employers - Workplace Success

The guide describes how to create successful work-based experiences for youth and their employers that foster adult employment success for all youth, particularly for those with disabilities.

Working with Employers - Workplace Success Quick Reference Guide

The guide describes how to create successful work-based experiences for youth and their employers that foster adult employment success for all youth, particularly for those with disabilities.

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