New York City’s Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) has refined and adopted a sequenced continuum of career development activities and experiences to be provided to youth and young adults that address Career Awareness, Career Exploration and Career Preparation. This is accomplished through the provision of a series of classroom training or workshop activities, workplace exposures and community experiences over time. Classroom and workshop activities support and provide opportunities to reflect upon what’s learned in the workplace and community, and Work-Based Learning experiences support what’s learned through classroom training or workshop activities. In addition, youth and young adults are supported by role models in the workplace. They’re provided experiences that are commensurate with their abilities and designed to support the acquisition of knowledge and skills.
Work-Based Learning is viewed as a developmental experience for youth and young adults who are provided with a full range of opportunities throughout their Career Pathway experience, with the expectation that they participate in authentic Work-Based Learning at each level of the Career Development Continuum. Employers and community partners provide opportunities that make sense for their organization, work for the business, and provide direct benefits to the young person, the employer/organization and the workforce program. While no single employer or partner organization is expected to participate in or provide all experiences, the Learn & Earn Program seeks to engage employer and community partners to collectively provide access to the full continuum of opportunities described below.
The following section describes the three levels of the Career Development Continuum, as well as all of the activities across the continuum, whether they happen through structured learning in the classroom or workshops, activities in the community or through work-based learning in partnership with employers.