FOR STUDENTS School-to-work provides an opportunity to obtain general and specific workplace knowledge and skills, explore future career possibilities, and gain experience in the world of work while still in school. School-to-work ensures that students are exposed to a wide variety of career ideas and are prepared for the world of work.

FOR TEACHERS, SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS, AND SCHOOL BOARDS School--to-work offers a way to reach students by engaging them in their future. Through its innovative educational programs, it improves the effectiveness of education and the quality of classroom life. School-to-work draws the resources of communities together to strengthen schools.

FOR EMPLOYERS School-to-work offers a way to provide vital input into the preparation of future entrants into the workforce. Investing resources now will save businesses later in time- and money-consuming searches for high quality employees.

FOR ORGANIZED LABOR School-to-work provides an opportunity for direct involvement in the preparation of the future workforce through mentoring youth in work-based learning and providing input into educational and training curriculum.

FOR POSTSECONDARY EDUCATION INSTITUTIONS School-to-work offers opportunities for ensuring that entering students have an understanding of what is expected of them and do not need remedial instruction and that their graduates are better prepared for entering careers. Local school-to-work partnerships may already be forming in your area. To find out about partnerships in your area, contact your local school, school district, or BOCES or call the School-to-Careers Team of the State Education Department at (518) 474-4809. In addition, New York State's School-to-Work Advisory Council includes representatives of many different constituencies. Those representatives may be helpful in suggesting ways in which you or your group may be involved. Please refer to the Council's membership list enclosed in this packet or the School-to-Careers Team of the State Education Department at (518) 474-4809.







In response to the changing nature and demands of work and the structure of the workplace, New York State is embarking on a plan to help youth in the transition from school to work. The plan's goal is to help students meet today's high standards for employment and continued education by integrating academic learning with preparation for employment. In school, the knowledge and skills necessary for success in the workplace will be integrated into the curriculum. Young people will also participate in work-based learning experiences that emphasize the application of academic knowledge and expose them to the full range of careers within a particular field. Ultimately, they will be encouraged and prepared to think in terms of their future careers and the paths to get there, rather than simply in terms of their first job after high school or getting accepted into a college.

The School-to-Work initiative calls for activity in three general areas: school-based learning, work-based learning, and connecting activities. School-based learning is classroom instruction based on high academic and occupational skills standards that is integrated with knowledge and skills essential for success in the workplace. Work-based learning provides exposure to all aspects of industries through visits to worksites, job shadowing, workplace mentoring, internships, youth apprenticeships, and paid employment. Connecting activities build bridges between: (a) school- and work-based learning, (b) academic and vocational learning, and (c) education and opportunities for employment and further education.

Already, a variety of programs have been established to encourage youth to complete their education and better prepare for work and careers, including the Tech-Prep program, the School and Business Alliance, mentoring programs, vocational and occupational education programs, and the programs available through the Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA). The challenge of the School-to-Work initiative is to build on these and other efforts to create a statewide comprehensive system that prepares all youth for the new workplace.

Support for this initiative will come from many sources. Much of the activity will take place at the local level, coordinated by local partnerships of organizations involved in education, career preparation, and employment. State support will come from activities conducted under a School-to-Work Opportunities grant from the federal government and will be connected with other state-level education and career preparation reform efforts. These efforts include:

  • The Workforce Preparation Pilot Program in 1994-95, New York State awarded $3.75 million in grants to local partnerships to begin developing local school-to-work systems. This is the second year of the program. In the first year $950,000 was provided to 12 pilot sites. This pilot program was undertaken as a result of the recommendations of the State Task Force on Career Pathways. The Task Force's recommendations included the establishment of world-class standards for both academics and workplace knowledge and skills that are integrated into the academic curriculum from kindergarten on, and the development of work-based learning experiences for all students.

  • The New York State Board of Regents' New Compact for Learning -The Compact focuses on educational results, local initiative, and empowerment of people at all levels of the education system.

  • The Curriculum and Assessment Council- An advisory group to the Commissioner of Education and the State Board of Regents, the Council's tasks include developing learning goals within and across disciplines and proposing assessment strategies.

The State's effort is led by the School- To-Work Advisory Council, chaired by the State Education Department. Membership on that Council includes the Governor's Office, the State's Departments of Labor and Economic Development, and organizations representing employers, organized labor, teachers, postsecondary education, school boards, school administrators, employment and training service providers, and parents.

For more information on the School-to-Work initiative, contact the School-to-Careers Team of the State Education Department at (518) 474-4809.


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