Community businesses work to connect the classroom to career paths for students with disabilities.
Concord, NH – Businesses and organizations throughout New Hampshire are stepping up to provide structured work-based learning opportunities for local at-risk high school students with disabilities. These experiences are designed to facilitate career exploration, support skill development and align students with career goals for life after high school. The work-based learning opportunties serve as on-ramps to career pathways for students as they transition out of high school.
Since September 2018, over 50 community businesses have dedicated their time and resources towards providing work-based learning opportunities for local students in their communities. Thanks to these socially engaged businesses, students are test-driving careers across trades and industries, including manufacturing, health care, hospitality, construction and information technology.
While students contract through coordinated internships and mentorship programs, businesses are seeing mutual value. Employers are able to familiarize themselves with the next generation of applicants, help build a skilled workforce and offer leadership development opportunities for new intern supervisors. Participating businesses are proud to support diversity and inclusion in New Hampshire’s growing workforce.
“It’s allowed me to do so much more than I thought I could do,” says Josh, IMPACCT AcademyTM alumnus. “It’s given me opportunities I never would have had.” Following the completion of his internship, Josh was offered a paid position from his worksite supervisor.
Work-based learning (WBL) is a key educational strategy that Granite State Independent Living has embraced in partnership with businesses throughout NH. This experiential approach helps high school students reengage with their education and understand the value it has for their career. This strategy is also in partnership with and promoted by New Hampshire’s Department of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation to support student and economic growth throughout the state. These programs supplement academic education with work-readiness training and career exploration.
“This program teaches these teens a lot of what they need to be doing at this stage and the next stage of their life,” says Kara Gendron, intern supervisor in the kitchen of White Mountains Community College. “I honestly wish they were in the IMPACCT program for a longer period of time to increase the amount of growth they already achieve.”
GSIL would like to thank the following local business and organizations that are supporting the Fall 2018 IMPACCT Academy cohort:
- Nashua Region: Lucky Dig Thrift Shop, Gurney’s Automotive in Nashua and Milford, Lou’s Custom Exhaust, RGA Tire and Auto, LDN Automotive, Good Mojo Dog Center, Bite Me Kupcakez, Lisa’s Tippy Toes Daycare, Gate City Collision and the Nashua Soup Kitchen.
- Manchester Region: Advance Auto Parts, TJ Maxx, HomeGoods, Five Guys Burgers and Fries; The Growing Years, Manchester Community College, Follett Bookstore, DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester Downtown Hotel, CVS, Habitat for Humanity, Caregivers NH and New Hampshire Food Bank.
- Concord Region: Five Guys, Chartwells NHTI Dining Common, Cole Gardens, NHTI Concord Community College Bookstore, Marshalls, NHTI Athletic Department, Osborne Agway, Sully’s Superette and TJ Maxx.
- Peterborough/Keene Region: RiverCenter Wood Bank, Belletetes, Monadnock Ledger, Bennington Auto, Scott Farrar and Rivermead.
- Littleton/Berlin Region: C & S Truck and Auto Parts, Arrow Express, George Mitchell of GM Fotography & Framing, Mosedale Integrated Solutions, Burndy, Fresh Salon & Day Spa, Littleton Food Co-op, Children’s House Montessori, Head Start, Take Two Farms, Riverglen House, Littleton Senior Center, Lakeway Elementary School, Tender Corp, Brian’s Auto Body and Littleton Pet Center.
IMPACCT AcademyTM advances the state’s goal of ensuring that 65% of adults receive some form of post-secondary education by 2025, thereby supporting a skilled workforce and stronger economy for New Hampshire.
Businesses large and small are encouraged to join the movement by offering their own work-based learning opportunities. Interested businesses can host an internship, join an advisory group, hold mock interviews, offer company tours and/or present on a facet of the workforce. To learn more, visit www.IMPACCT603.org or contact GSIL at (603) 228-9680.
The IMPACCT program is funded by and in full partnership with the New Hampshire Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation (NHVR) in response to the recent Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). IMPACCT is offered through Granite State Independent Living (GSIL). IMPACCT was created to help augment and support the transitional services that schools are already providing their students with disabilities.
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