unite! is an easy-to-use online tool that connects you and your business or organization to the future workforce in your community. Go to www.ilunite.org and click “Join Now” to enter your company profile and select any of the activities listed below! EMPLOYER INVOLVEMENT GUIDE - SHORT TERM ACTIVITIES Virtual Career Coach 1+ hrs/week Virtual Career Coaches answer student questions about their jobs, offer advice, or otherwise support students via an online forum. This allows career coaches to volunteer from their desk at work, at home or when travelling, and allows students access to a network of knowledgeable, supportive adults they might not otherwise be able to reach. Career Guest Speaker 30-60 minutes (per class) Guest speakers address a group of students and/or teachers about their career, training and skills, or about general topics such as leadership, job hunting or fiscal responsibility. Speakers are encouraged to bring visual aids and props. The more interactive and hands-on, the better! Sample topics are: • The work and tasks this job involves and what industries employ this job • How to prepare and train for the job and how to pursue a career in this industry • Job Hunting – From applications and resumes to interviewing skills • Finding success in any job – the do’s and don’ts of surviving the workplace of the 21st Century Company Tour (1-2 hours) Tours allow classes of students and/or teachers to view an organization’s facility and operation and observe what happens outside of the classroom. Companies hosting a tour are encouraged to interact with the students about: • Types of jobs/careers available at the company, including education and pay levels • Advice for students interested in pursuing a career in the company • Internship, summer employment or apprenticeships available at the company Interviews Mock or Informational 15-60 minutes (per interview) Mock interviews help students develop and practice job interviewing skills. Employees who regularly interview job applicants interview students, then provide constructive feedback regarding their interviewing style and how the responded to the questions. Informational interviews allow a student to explore an occupation and gather information about a career. Informational interviews help students broaden their vision of career fields, and understand the connection between school and work. The student prepares a list of questions, and a business person provides the student with a glimpse of what their career is like, discussing the necessary training and workplace requirements. The interview can take place in person, by phone or email, or in a group. Business Round Table (4 hours) Business Round Tables are held to gather information from industry that will directly impact curriculum being taught in the classroom. Industry experts and teachers sit down in a round table format to discuss the needs of the industry. Teachers then use these conversations to develop and implement curriculum that aligns to industry standards. Job Shadow (2-8 hours) Students “shadow” one or more employees at a business site to learn the daily routines and activities of a particular job. Businesses and employees who host job shadows go about their regular work while discussing it with the student. Job shadows help students enhance their communication skills, and allow them to make the connection between academic classroom work and their career goals. Competition Judge (1-8 hours) Many courses at the high school level provide competitions for students to test their skills and knowledge in an academic, career or technical discipline. Judges may provide a level of real world expertise on student projects, ensure competition rules are followed, and share direct feedback to the students on their performance. Career Fair (2-8 hours) Career Fairs give students a look at a variety of occupations. Business people can staff a booth or meet with groups of students to provide information about the careers available at their companies. The more interactive and hands-on, the better the experience for both the student and employer. Possible topics: • Advice on how to prepare and then pursue a career in this industry • Required knowledge and skills needed for a particular job or career • Major responsibilities for individuals in this occupation. unite! is an easy-to-use online tool that connects you and your business or organization to the future workforce in your community. Go to www.ilunite.org and click on “Join Now” to enter your company profile and select any of the activities listed below! EMPLOYER INVOLVEMENT GUIDE - MEDIUM TERM ACTIVITIES Service Learning Opportunities (2-15 hours) Service learning opportunities give students a chance to give back to their communities while performing meaningful projects at local for-profit and non-profit businesses or government agencies. Many senior projects, required for graduation, involve service learning projects. These opportunities may be one-time or ongoing. 2 Summer ExternshipTeacher (8-24 hours) Provide professional development opportunities for teachers to observe and work for 1-3 days in the field. This exposure to current trends in the industry is often a part of revitalizing classroom curriculum. Summer Site Visit-Teacher (2-4 hours) Teachers visit business sites during the summer to learn the daily routines and activities of a company. Businesses who host site visits conduct a tour of their company and provide opportunities to observe employees as they go about their regular work. Ideally, a time is established for teachers to have a questions and answer session after the tour. Curriculum Advisor (1-15 hours) Teachers are looking for ongoing opportunities to consult with industry experts about trends in the industry, including technology and software used, skill alignment, industry credentials, educational pathways into the field, trends in the industry, and more. This valuable networking opportunity is the first step in aligning high schools to post-secondary to career fields. Project Advisor and Support (1-15 hours) Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges. With this type of active and engaged learning, students are inspired to obtain a deeper knowledge of their subject matter. Projects may vary in length. Businesses may support projects by directly advising students, or by offering donations of materials to complete the projects. EMPLOYER INVOLVEMENT GUIDE - LONG TERM ACTIVITIES Internship/ Project Support 24+ hours Internships provide students with opportunities to experience “hands-on” learning in the area of their career interests, and apply classroom learning in a real-life environment. In addition to exploring a particular career pathway, industry, or occupation, students learn workplace readiness and entry-level job skills, building their portfolio and their professional network. Student’s assignments may include occupation-related tasks and/or special projects. These experiences may be paid or unpaid, and can vary in range of hours per week. Students may receive school credit for them. Summer or Part-Time Job (24+ hours) Employers offer opportunities to experience “hands-on” learning in the area of their career interests and apply classroom learning in a real-life environment through a part-time or summer job. The experiences are paid and occur over the summer or after school during the school year. Committee Member (1-40 hours) Participate in a variety of workforce development or education preparatory committees alongside educators, other business people and representatives from a variety of organizations. Work might include pathway exploration, serving on an advisory committee for a school, and more. Committee Member Rockford Schools (1-40 hours) Monthly, hour-long meetings are held at each Rockford High School, and are led by a community chair and the school’s Academy Coach. Committees may consist of community members, school staff, parents and students. The teams follow an agenda and provide recommendations, make decisions, identify team members to continue progress on projects, and in general build the essence of each academy. Some members may meet separately with staff, or continue communications through emails or phone calls. Business participants may choose which of the Rockford High Schools to serve, and to which academy they would like to offer support.