The Job Center Content Area
The Job Center encourages youth to explore self-knowledge, friendships, recreation, and methods of dealing with teasing and bullying. This content area is comprised of two units:
Click here for a complete Map of The Job Center.
The Job Center helps youth explore careers and employment options. Youth are rarely given extended time to concentrate on future career options. Incorporating The Job Center into your curriculum can help youth understand their choices and make decisions that feel right to them.
In The Job Center, youth can think about and explore their interests, identify their skills and abilities, consider what they still need to learn how to do, and reflect on the steps they’ll need to take in order to achieve their employment goals. In addition, the activities in The Job Center can help youth answer questions they may have about career exploration.
Youth with disabilities have additional material to engage with in The Job Center. This includes material to help them learn about preparing for a job and career (such as getting career-related goals written into their Individualized Education Program), understanding their rights as an employee with a disability, thinking about accommodations they may need on the job, and more.
By reading and completing online activities in The Job Center, youth will achieve the following outcomes:
- Learn about and define their career/employment interests.
- Identify and understand their current skills and abilities.
- Identify and understand possible career/employment options.
- Understand the training required to apply for specific careers/jobs of interest.
- Identify and understand what they must still learn how to do in order to be eligible for certain career tracks.
- Develop goals in the above areas in their Life Map.
Activities to Assign
In addition to the reading material available in each unit, there are numerous activities you may choose to assign youth. These include questions to consider for discussion or reflection, online and hands-on activities to complete, and other Web sites to explore.
1. Lead a Discussion
When working with youth in this content area, you may want to facilitate a group discussion about the topics explored in each unit. Below we’ve provided sample discussion questions to help youth explore each unit’s topic in more depth. These questions can also be used as writing assignments for youth to reflect on a topic, either confidentially in their Private Journal, or to be shared with you as their Youthhood Guide in their Class Notebook. (Note: You have the option to view and comment on their work in the Class Notebook. See Viewing & Commenting on Entries for more information.)
- Do you know what you want to do for a career? If so, what and why?
- What careers do you want to explore? How can you find out about these careers and what is required to be hired in these fields?
- Have you taken a tour of a workplace in the industry you are interested in? Do you understand what it’s really like to do that job?
- What is the difference between a job and a career?
- Why is it important to find a job and have a career?
- Why is it important to you personally?
- How can you get help with your goals of exploring careers and finding a job?
- When looking for a job, what do you need to think about if you have a disability?
- Who might be able to help you explore your career interests and goals?
2. Assign a "Youthhood Poll"
The Youthhood homepage has a new poll question every few weeks. Youth must be logged in to vote on a poll. See About the Youthhood Poll for more information.
3. Assign "My Youthhood" Activities
Here at The Youthhood we’ve designed numerous online activities to help youth build a strong foundation of knowledge and to apply the material on the Web site to their own life. These include the Private Journal, Activities Folder, Life Map, and Class Notebook and are part of the "My Youthhood" menu youth see when they log in. See Online Activities for more information.
Click here to Preview Online Activities in The Job Center.
4. Assign Other Web Sites to Explore
There are some terrific Web sites available for youth to learn more about the topics covered in The Youthhood. You may wish to assign youth the task of exploring some of these Web sites.
Click here to Preview Web Sites Linked in The Job Center.
5. Assign Hands-On Activities
In addition to the existing materials on the site, you might create additional real-world, hands-on activities so that youth can see the concepts in action. The following are examples of hands-on activities you might assign youth in The Job Center:
- Invite youth to job-shadow in different career fields that interest them.
- Acquire and help youth fill out a job application.
- Help youth to role-play applying and being interviewed for a job.
- Assist youth with developing a resume.
- Help youth prepare for and conduct several informational interviews with companies that reflect their interest areas.
Developing a Lesson Plan
We’ve provided some tips on how you might incorporate the interactive features with the content pages and your own supplemental activities to optimize learning for youth. See Developing a Lesson Plan.
Here are additional online resources for you as the Youthhood Guide to learn more about the topics presented within each unit of The Job Center. Titles with "(PDF)" are links to PDF documents, and require Adobe Acrobat Reader (free) to download.
Learning About Work
- Career Guidance & Exploration (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores how families and professionals can support youth with disabilities through the various stages and components of preparing for, obtaining, and succeeding in professional employment. It reviews strategies and tools for understanding employment-related interests, skills, abilities, and aptitudes; outlines necessary steps for résumé or curriculum vitae preparation; and provides resources for learning about workplace accommodations.
- Employer Engagement (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores how schools and employers can partner to provide youth with opportunities to learn about work and prepare for future careers.
- Technology (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores the importance of providing training and access to technology for youth with disabilities.
- Work-Based Learning (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores the benefits of providing youth with opportunities to learn at job sites in their communities through the use of internships, workplace mentoring, service learning, and other strategies.
- Career Cruising (Anaca Technologies Ltd.) Have your youth register on this site (for a fee) to explore different career options or plan future education and training. Sold on a site license basis.
- JobGenie: Job description software for the desktop 12,000 job descriptions from the Dictionary of Occupational Titles.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook (U.S. Department of Labor) This online handbook includes descriptions of different occupations, educational requirements, pay, working conditions, and more.
- Virtual Learning Connections (Connections Academy) Career awareness resources for elementary and middle school students for traditional and non-traditional careers.
- Career Planning Begins with Assessment: A Guide for Professionals Serving Youth with Educational and Career Development Challenges (National Collaborative on Workforce & Disability NCWD/Youth) Youth service practitioners will find information on selecting career-related assessments, determining when to refer youth for additional assessment, and additional issues such as accommodations, legal issues, and ethical considerations. Administrators and policymakers will find information on developing practical and effective policies, collaboration among programs, and interagency assessment systems.
Knowing it's Important
- Employment Supports & Accommodations (National Center on Secondary Education and Transition) This NCSET Web Topic explores adjustments employers can make to the workplace to accommodate people with disabilities so that they can access the workplace and successfully perform their job tasks.
- Work & Disability Resources for Youth Service Practitioners (National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability–Youth) Information for youth service practitioners about employment and youth with disabilities.