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About the Toolkit

The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) Career Pathways Work-Based Learning Toolkit

Designed for DYCD Youth Organization Directors and Program Staff

About New York City Youth and Young Adult Career Pathways

This toolkit was developed to support the inclusion of Work-Based Learning activities in NYC Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) youth workforce development programs as they seek to implement a Career Pathways and Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) approach for those they serve. DYCD programs include the Learn & Earn Program, Train & Earn Program, Intern & Earn Program, and Summer Youth Employment Program*. Authentic workplace experiences have always been of great value to youth and young adults, and all can benefit from activities such as Workplace Tours, Guest Speakers, Informational Interviews, Job Shadowing, Work Experience, Internships, Workplace Challenges, and Career Mentoring. Work-Based Learning can be even more impactful when combined with classroom training or workshops, support services, and other career-readiness activities. With the City’s new Career Pathways framework and the passing of WIOA, there are new expectations, requirements, and resources for many youth programs.

In November of 2014, Career Pathways: One City Working Together was released by the New York City Office of Workforce Development. This report declared the City’s commitment to moving away from a “Rapid Attachment” model to a “Career Pathways” framework. Career Pathways assists individuals in taking the steps needed in education, training, and employment to achieve self-sufficiency. This requires a goal and a plan. The report recommends increased funding for training and bridge programs that expand industry partnerships and improve job quality. Having gone into effect in New York City as of July 1, 2015, WIOA includes a Career Pathways approach and incorporates a great deal of changes and adjustments for youth program providers. Program design, funding levels, and outcome measurement, including follow-up, are among the areas impacted. There is also an increased emphasis on industry and interagency partnerships as well as the promotion of sector-based strategies. As a result, education, training, and workplace experiences are more integrated in a single pathways approach.

Career Pathways and WIOA are already having an impact on the workforce development field. There is more emphasis on helping young people plan for their career, not just that first job. Work-Based Learning can serve as an important element in this new paradigm.

* NOTE: In June of 2018, The NYC Department of Youth and Community Development re-branded the In-School Youth Program, the Out-of-School Youth Program and the Young Adult Internship Program as the Learn & Earn Program, Train & Earn Program, Intern & Earn Program respectively.

About this Toolkit

This Work-Based Learning Toolkit was developed to support the inclusion of high-quality Work-Based Learning activities in Intern & Earn programs as they seek to implement a Career Pathways approach for the youth and young adults they serve. The audience for this toolkit is primarily agency directors, project directors and program staff responsible for designing and delivering educational and training opportunities to youth and young adults in New York City. The toolkit is not intended as an employer engagement support toolkit. It is designed to assist leadership and program staff in designing, implementing and supporting quality Work-Based Learning activities for the youth and young adults they serve. Deep and sustained employer and partner organization relationships are critical to successful implementation of Career Pathway initiatives and are at the core of making a range of high-quality Work-Based Learning experiences available to youth and young adults. Sustaining and growing Work-Based Learning depends upon developing and maintaining positive relationships with the employers or organizations that are providing opportunities to the youth and young adults being served. These employers and organizations should be treated as valued customers and partners. This version of the WBL toolkit was created by New Ways to Work for the Workforce Professionals Training Institute and reviewed by a team of leaders and practitioners from New York City’s youth workforce development organizations. Further content and edits were provided by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and applied in June of 2018. All content has been adapted from materials developed by New Ways to Work for New York State P-TECH and Earn & Learn East Bay. The toolkit includes the following components: Quality Work-Based Learning: provides an introduction to the principles of Quality Work-Based Learning and lays the foundation for Intern & Earn programs that are developing Work-Based Learning experiences for the youth and young adults they serve. Includes definitional standards for WBL. The Career Development Continuum: a definition of the continuum of Career Awareness, Career Exploration and Career Preparation and the identification of the range of activities across the continuum—whether conducted in the classroom or workshop setting, the workplace or the community. Work-Based Learning Essential Elements: the essential design elements to be applied to support and enhance the educational value of any WBL experience. Work-Ready Professional Skills: the skills to be taught and demonstrated through any WBL experience. Mastering these professional skills, combined with meeting the necessary academic and occupational skill requirements for a particular job or position, indicates readiness for a successful transition to work. Implementation Guides: designed to help Intern & Earn programs and their employer or organization partners design, structure and support effective Work-Based Learning experiences. Each guide includes tip sheets and checklists for program staff, employer/organization partners, and youth and young adults that identify the success factors related to the experience. A fact sheet that describes the expectations and benefits of participation for a prospective employer partner is also provided. Implementation Guides are provided for the following Work-Based Learning types:

  • Workplace Tours
  • Guest Speakers
  • Informational Interviews
  • Job Shadowing
  • Work Experience
  • Internships
  • Workplace Challenges
  • Career Mentoring

Work-Based Learning Plan and Evaluation Tool: a planning and assessment tool designed to support Work Experiences, Internships and other appropriate WBL experiences. The tool has four components: a data sheet that captures the details of the experience, academic enrichment and career development learning objectives, personal/youth development learning objectives, and an assessment of performance against the Work-Readiness Professional Skills. Employer Participation Options Fact Sheet: a document for employers that provides information about the overall Career Pathways effort, the benefits of getting involved and a range of participation options. Application of the strategies contained in this toolkit will increase the number of authentic Workplace Experiences made available through Intern & Earn programs to youth and young adults and expand the range of those experiences across the continuum of Career Awareness, Career Exploration and Career Preparation described in section two of this toolkit. It will increase the educational quality of WBL activities, help build connections both from and to the classroom or workshop, and support learning by engaging all partners in activities before, during and after each WBL experience. Participation in expanded and enhanced WBL activities will increase awareness of the issues facing industry, and facilitate a robust and practical connection between  Intern & Earn programs and an expanded base of employer and organizational partners. Employers and organizations will be able to effectively engage with the system and support the development of their future workforce, and an increased number of youth and young adults will be aware of, have experience in and be prepared for immediate employment opportunities, as well as the careers of the future.

Acknowledgements

This toolkit was created by New Ways to Work for the Workforce Professionals Training Institute and reviewed by a team of leaders and practitioners from New York City’s youth workforce development organizations.

Further content and edits were provided by the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development and applied in June of 2018. All content has been adapted from materials developed by New Ways to Work for New York State P-TECH and Earn & Learn East Bay.

Funding and support for this guide and curriculum was provided by the New York City Department of Youth and Community Development, the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity, and The Young Adult Internship Program.

 

WPTI

Workfrorce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI) increases the effectiveness of people, programs, and organizations that are committed to generating pathways out of poverty through employment. WPTI is a nonprofit organization focused on improving the operations of workforce development programs and strengthening the workforce development field in order to fight poverty and inequality. WPTI provides professional development and training opportunities for program staff, technical assistance and consulting services to organizations, and field-wide system building. Since its founding in 2004, WPTI has become the preeminent non-profit training and technical assistance intermediary for New York City’s workforce development community. The organization has trained thousands of workforce practitioners from over 350 programs and organizations that collectively serve over 500,000 jobseekers. As a standalone, non-political organization, WPTI provides an inclusive bridge among providers, funders and government agencies that contribute to building NYC’s workforce.  

New Ways to Work

New Ways to Work is a consulting, technical assistance, and training organization that helps communities build comprehensive local youth-serving systems, develop new programs, and improve practice in the organizations that serve young people. New Ways helps create powerful partnerships among government, the workforce system, education, community, philanthropy and the private sector and helps clarify key issues and opportunities, build effective collaborative approaches, and design and implement program strategies to provide young people with the opportunities and support they need to prepare for success in career and life, while helping to build the future workforce. New Ways has supported the development of work-based learning and employer engagement systems and strategies across the nation since the 1990s. (www.newwaystowork.org)  

DYCD

The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) invests in a network of community- based organizations and programs to alleviate the effects of poverty and to provide opportunities for New Yorkers and communities to flourish. DYCD strives to improve the quality of life of New Yorkers by collaborating with local organizations and investing in the talents and assets of our communities to help them develop, grow, and thrive through funding a wide range of high-quality youth and community development programs, including: • After School • Community Development • Family Support • Literacy Services • Youth Services • Youth Workforce Development  

NYC Opportunity

The Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity works to reduce poverty and advance evidence-based policy in New York City through research, program design, monitoring, and evaluation. Part of the Mayor’s Office of Operations, NYC Opportunity manages a dedicated annual Innovation Fund and works collaboratively with City agencies and other partners to create, implement, and oversee a range of anti-poverty programs, policies, and research projects. NYC Opportunity’s in-house evaluation team works with nationally recognized, independent evaluation teams and City agencies to rigorously measure program impacts and provide objective evidence to inform decisions of whether to replicate, eliminate, or scale up programs.  

Authors and Contributors

This Toolkit was developed by New Ways to Work.

New York City Youth and Young Adult Career Pathways

 

WORK-BASED LEARNING TOOLKITS