Jump Starts

Throughout the year the experts at NCWD/Youth take an in-depth look at a different topic concerning employment and youth with disabilities. We will provide an introduction to each topic with research, references, & resources. Our experts will then delve into answers to key questions for each of our five audiences.

Assessment Jump Start

To make the transition successfully from school to adult life and the world of work, adolescents and young adults need guidance and encouragement from caring, supportive adults. Developing the ability to make informed choices and to understand the implications of those choices should be explicit goals early in the transition process. The best decisions and choices made by transitioning youth are based on sound information including appropriate assessments that focus on the talents, knowledge, skills, interests, values, and aptitudes of each individual.

KSAs of Youth Service Professionals: Youth Needs/Field & Program Benefits Jump Start

Providing training and resources for youth service professionals is a critical investment that will benefit youth, organizations, and communities. Research has shown that the professional development of staff leads to better practice with youth, improves program quality, and increases positive youth outcomes. To make the transition from school to adult life and the world of work, adolescents and young adults need guidance and encouragement from caring supportive adults. For most youth, youth service professionals (adults who work directly with youth) are the face of the workforce development system. Just as youth seek to build the competencies they need to be successful in adolescence and adulthood, the professionals working with these youth must build the knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) needed to assist them in this endeavor. Connecting youth to the workforce development system requires a mix of competencies from the youth development, education, and workforce development fields.

School-based Preparatory Experiences Jump Start

School-based preparatory experiences are those core activities that help youth become prepared for a successful future in careers or postsecondary education institutions. They include the core activities of career assessments (formal and informal), introduces the concept of opportunity awareness (guest speakers, informational interviews, research-based activities, community mapping, exposures to post secondary education) and work-readiness skills (soft-skills development, computer competency and job search skills).

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.

Youth Development and Leadership Jump Start

All effective youth programs have youth development at their core. Effective youth leadership programs build on solid youth development principles, with an emphasis on those areas of development and program components that support youth leadership.

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