The purpose of Peak is to assist all those involved in early career preparedness programs across Broome and Tioga Counties. This includes all students, job seekers, educational institutions, and key business partnerships within the region. With this program, we hope to tackle the question of access and ascension within the workforce. As of July 2017, Broome County holds a 5.3% unemployment rate, number fifty among all sixty-two New York State counties, while there exist still 4,859 vacant positions. The current working population is aging out of the positions they hold, dictating that a new workforce is necessary.
A successful future can and should be measured in different ways based on the student at hand. Students may pursue a post-secondary degree at a two- or four-year institution, join the armed forces, continue with their apprenticeship programs, or immediately enter the workforce. Any of the above routes taken, however, does not mean the student should stop their focus on career development post high school graduation.
Students should be encouraged by collegiate and career counselors and/or their employers to continue developing crucial transferable soft skills or industry specific credentials that will allow them to pursue higher paying careers. Additionally, if students are aware that the career path they have chosen may require a Master or Doctorate Degree, they should be advised to meet early on with career counselors at their post-secondary academic institution or discuss possible tuition reimbursement or alternative training programs offered through their employer.
By introducing the Peak Path in schools at a young age, students will be inspired to pursue their individual successful futures and achieve their peak performance in the workforce. This path will strengthen the connection between education, personal development, and professional development for students in Broome and Tioga Counties. Growing up with an education dedicated to professional development will help ensure that employers have the talent they need to flourish and produce better outcomes for the youth, their families, and their communities.
Career Awareness Portfolio – Educators are encouraged to integrate career-oriented tasks into their curriculum. Activities completed are to the discretion of the educator and their administration, however, whatever activities are completed should be compiled into a portfolio to follow the student throughout their academic career.
Career Day – Career Days are intended for use in primary school education. Career days, unlike career nights, are designed to introduce students at a young age to the working world. Career Day organizers can invite key industry professionals from the area, including the parents of children to make the event more personal. Career Day invitees should be encouraged to develop engaging material for children aged K-7th grade. Career Day can encompass Careers in the Classroom, wherein industry professionals are invited into the classroom during the school day, or can be treated as a special during school assembly with a panel of different industry professionals.
Career Exploration Fair – The Career Exploration Fair is a hands-on styled career fair. The Career Exploration Fair is geared towards children in middle school to get them excited about their future in the workforce. Instead of lengthy discussions or presentations on pay, benefits, roles and responsibilities, employers who take part are encouraged to bring engaging materials such as easy to read literature, a video presentation, and interactive educational activities.
Career Night – Career Nights are designed to showcase the variety of employment options offered by different industries found in Broome and Tioga counties for students ready to narrow down their career paths. Career Nights should be organized by industry; for example, a separate Career Night may be held for the Healthcare industry from the Manufacturing industry. Additionally, Career Nights may feature one large employer in an industry, or several smaller employers. If there is only one employer, a presentation format followed by question and answers or break out groups is suggested. If there are several employers, the use of a large space such as a cafeteria or gymnasium is encouraged; this will allow several employers to set up tables to exhibit their business.
Careers in the Classroom – If it is not an option to bring employers or professionals into the classroom, then teachers should prepare a few basic lessons introducing the different career options in the region’s top industry sectors. Additionally, introducing students to careers prior to a career fair or other event ran by professionals will give them a better idea of what employers they would be interested in talking to based off of possible future career choices.
Project Based Learning – Project based learning should go hand in hand with Careers in the Classrooms. As part of the lessons, educators should be encouraged to develop a career-based project that will be later included in the student’s Career Awareness Portfolio.
Work-Based Learning – Career or industry specific typically paid work opportunities designed to introduce students of high school age to the activities and experiences they should expect in a specific career/position in addition to teaching transferrable skills. WBL opportunities will strengthen the partnership between school districts and employers
Career Awareness Portfolio – The culmination of a student’s completed work; all of the documents below as well as any other career related activities selected by the educator should be kept on file. It is recommended that the Career Awareness Portfolio be digital so that it may easily follow a student throughout the course of their academic career within a participating district.
Career Aptitude Website – Students may utilize this website in order to identify career interests. Test should be taken multiple times throughout a student’s academic career to determine any shifts in interests. Results of each test should be saved. This is a two-part aptitude test; first is the career interest segment followed by O*NET Job Zone career matching. Students should be encouraged to use one of their career matches for their career exploration project unless they have a specific career in mind. My Next Move is an O*NET Interest Profiler sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor.
Career Exploration Fair Worksheet – During the Career Exploration Fair, or any career fair the students may attend, educators are encouraged to require the use of this sheet. The Career Exploration Fair Worksheet incentivizes students to speak with five to eight employers attending the fair to take down basic information regarding future employment opportunities and the possibility of an internship or apprenticeship while in school.
Career Exploration Project – After taking their career aptitude test, educators should be encouraged to integrate this Career Exploration Project into their classroom curriculum. The worksheet provided gives instructions on how to research their chosen career and what questions they should address in a two-part written and oral project. This is a key example of Project-Based Learning.
Resume Worksheet – When learning about resumes, educators may utilize the attached resume worksheet to help students determine what is valuable information they can include on a current or future resume. If students know of a job they will be applying for in the near future, educators should encourage them to fill out the resume worksheet with the job in mind.
Sample Interview Questions Worksheet – This activity provides students the opportunity to write out and prepare answers for commonly asked interview questions. Students may also draft their own questions to develop a better understanding of what is important to share in an interview. Students should be encouraged to review their answers to their questions sheet and the Tips and Tricks reference sheet prior to any mock or real interviews.
Ten Terrific Tips and Tricks – This sheet serves as a quick reference guide for students going into their first interview. This sheet pairs with the Tell Me About Yourself reference guide and the Sample Interview Questions Worksheet.
Tell Me About Yourself – Students should review this sheet along with the Ten Terrific Tips and Tricks for an interview guide prior to any interview practice. This sheet provides students with a reference on how to answer the most common but difficult interview question.
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“Your Future Greater Binghamton” was developed to help address the local workforce challenges of today and tomorrow. We have teamed up with schools to enable businesses to engage directly with educators and students to provide real-life experiences which will help guide students as they consider their career options.
GBEOP's mission is to build bridges between schools, businesses and leaders within the Greater Binghamton community to promote technical and professional career development for current and future workforce participants.