Career Skills Program Featured at WECA Conference

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TST BOCES was represented at the New York State Chapter Work Experience Coordinator Association (WECA) Annual Conference in Saratoga on March 22-23, 2018.

Brandy Nielsen, Career Skills Teacher and Work-Based Learning Coordinator, and Debbie Demers, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, were selected by WECA to deliver a presentation focused on the TST BOCES Career Skills Program at Cornell University.

The Career Skills Program launched during the 2015-2016 academic year following extensive collaborative planning between TST BOCES and Cornell University. TST BOCES students in the program participate in a variety of jobs around Cornell University’s campus designed to practice regular employability skills and help prepare students for internships in housekeeping, food service or greenhouse operation and plant care.

The presentation discussed the goals of the program as well as the history of its development, including some of its successes and challenges. It provided resources for participants interested in creating a similar work-based learning/college partnership following the model used by the Career Skills Program. This included an opportunity to network with other educational professionals and brainstorm how to tailor a new program based on the specific requirements.

“Brandy and I were honored to share information about the Career Skills program with Work Experience Coordinators at our annual New York State WECA conference,” Demers said. “The conference provided a wonderful opportunity to collaborate with our colleagues, learn about state education updates, and bring back information, ideas, and program models to enhance work-based learning opportunities for students in our programs.”