MassHire’s ‘Connecting Activities’ Program Helping CHS Students Find Their Niche
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WATCH: ‘Connecting Activities’ Featured on CTM Newsbreak (Tuesday, Apr. 14)
CHELMSFORD, MA (Dec. 14, 2021) – Every other Thursday, Jay Green, a Youth Business Services specialist from MassHire of Greater Lowell, spends up to two hours at the Career and College Readiness Center at Chelmsford High School meeting with students and helping them find work or offering resume advice, among other things.
In his first couple weeks, CHS students aren’t yet clamoring to get an appointment with him, but he is confident that will change.
It’s an initiative called ‘Connecting Activities,’ geared toward helping high school students to identify career interests as well as find work and internships – even paid ones – with area businesses. MassHire of Greater Lowell is partnered with nine area high schools, CHS as its latest.
“We do place about 250 students per year, so it is a successful program,” said Peter Farkas, Executive Director of MassHire of Greater Lowell. “We’re working with students who need the extra support, who may not have the network to help them find employment. We’ll work with students who are looking for their first job, an entry-level position. There is also a focus on STEM placement, and we try to help broker relationships with STEM businesses.”
The Career and College Readiness Center at Chelmsford High School, led by Facilitator Alexandra Cunningham, has partnered with MassHire for that very reason. Students can also receive coaching on resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles, interview preparation, job shadowing and even social media etiquette.
“Our partnership with MassHire is 100 percent consistent with the mission of the Career and College Readiness Center – to give students the tools and resources they need to best prepare them for their next pathway, whether that be joining the workforce or attending college,” said Ms. Cunningham. “It is a natural partnership of which our 9-12 students should take full advantage.”
While career readiness is one of the goals of Connecting Activities, students simply seeking work are equally as welcome, Mr. Farkas said. Students are encouraged to book appointments with Mr. Green ahead of time – which can be easily done by meeting Ms. Cunningham at the Career and College Readiness Center. Walk-ins are also welcome.
Providing students a jumpstart on career and/or college pathways has been a focal point at CHS in recent years. In 2020, CHS launched Innovation Pathways, which offers students coursework and college credit in four pathways: Business and Finance, Information Technology, Life Science (environmental and biotechnology) and Manufacturing. Additionally, CHS provides students many college-level course options – both in and out of the Innovation Pathways program – in its Dual Enrollment partnership with Middlesex Community College.
Along with CHS, MassHire of Greater Lowell is partnered with Lowell, Dracut, Tewksbury and Billerica high schools as well as Greater Lowell Technical High School, Lowell-Middlesex Academy Charter School and Shawsheen Tech.
To make an appointment with either Mr. Green or Ms. Cunningham, students are encouraged to visit the Career and College Readiness Center or contact either by e-mail:
About Chelmsford Public Schools
The Chelmsford Public School District provides all students with multiple pathways to optimize their own potential for academic excellence, leadership, and social and emotional wellness. The mission of the Chelmsford Public Schools is to educate, engage, prepare, and empower well-rounded and knowledgeable learners to PERSEVERE through challenges, demonstrate RESPECT and INTEGRITY in their words and actions, are DEDICATED to their community, and display EMPATHY as global citizens while discovering and pursuing their full potential. This PRIDE-driven culture enables all members of the school community to support the growth and development of students. For more information, please visit www.chelmsfordschools.org.