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Techniques: Connecting Education and Careers (J1), v83 n2 p26-29 Feb 2008

Young people searching for employment opportunities fresh out of high school know how difficult it can be to find openings that fit their skills and interests. It isn't easy successfully competing with other jobseekers for those all too rare positions that pay a good wage, have reasonable hours, and offer employer benefits and prospects for advancement. This is a daunting undertaking for many individuals--and even more so for a young person who happens to have a disability. This article describes a program which was created to help high school students with disabilities identify career goals and then find, learn and keep jobs that match those goals. Career Connections, founded in 2001 with grants from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs, is a collaborative effort involving students, families, school staff, Grant Wood Area Education Agency (GWAEA) and community rehabilitation agencies such as Goodwill Industries of the Heartland and Advancement Services of Jones County. The program has expanded to serve 60 to 70 students annually from 21 Iowa high schools, with districts paying for program services. The program was developed on the premise that students with disabilities need extra training and support to be successful in the workforce. It has six program elements, each designed to answer a specific question that will help guide the student's career path.

Descriptors: Attitudes toward Disabilities, Disabilities, High School Students, Career Guidance, Employment Opportunities, Partnerships in Education

Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE). 1410 King Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. Tel: 800-826-9972; Tel: 703-683-3111; Fax: 703-683-7424; Web site:

Autor: Nietupski, John A.


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