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Do What You Love, Love What You Do: Manufacturing Your Career in Pennsylvania


The Pennsylvania Department of Education's Pennsylvania Career Zone



Career Information

Going From School to a Career

There are several types of employment options fro graduating students. These include competitive, supported and supportive employment. Most
students who choose to enter the work force right after high school will enter into competitive employment.

What is Competitive Employment?

Competitive employment is when a student locates, secures and performs a job with minimal (if any) assistance.

When going from school to competitive employment it is important to
remember the following:

  1. Look for opportunities, which offer "on the job training" so that you do not have to pay for the training. Look at careers that have a future. also look for companies that offer advancement. Moving up in the company can provide more earning potential.
  2. Look for companies that offer fringe benefits. This is especially important regarding health care. Check with your insurance provider now. Most companies will only cover dependants who are in school. Once a person graduates and is no longer a full time student, he or she is usually covered by his or her parents' benefits only until the end of the month in which they have graduated unless the plan to enroll in a post-secondary program full time.
  3. Get started with your job search early. Consider doing a career internship or work release during your senior year. This will give you an "in" so that you are not left without a job after graduation in June, when the market is much more competitive. These opportunities will also allow you to try out different jobs/careers before you are dependent on the income from your job. Starting while you are in high school may also allow you to get in the required time for benefits to kick in before your parents benefits no longer cover you.
  4. Follow the steps to locating and securing employment below.

What are supportive/supported Employment? These are possible options for students with disabilities or handicapping conditions. Students with IEP's and/or 504 agreements, at times may require supported or supportive employment.

  1. These options offer varying degrees of support from short-term assistance to full time ongoing support.
  2. Most of these services are provided with funds from the Office of Vocational Training(OVR).
  3. These supports and services are individualized to meet the needs of each child.
  4. They can involve formal vocational training through programs like the Hiram G. Andrews Center, Abilitech, or the MBF center.
  5. To learn more about these options and supportive/supported employment, you may see your child's special education teacher or Anne Morris, the district's transition coordinator.


Locating and Securing Employment


Locating a Job -

Just a few years ago most people located jobs through the newspaper. This is still one viable option for students but is certainly not the only option. When searching for a job students can utilize:

  • The internet
  • Job or career fairs
  • The local Career Link Office(located in Coatesville for Chester County)
  • Temp agencies
  • The counseling office job board.

Securing a job -

  • Develop a quality resume
  • If possible get an application ahead of time, complete it and have someone proof read it before returning it to the company.
  • Practice interviewing with a friend, counselor, or parent
  • Learn about the company you are interviewing with
  • Drive to the interview location the night before so that you can avoid getting lost the day of the interview
  • Dress appropriate for the job you are applying for
  • BE ON TIME for your interview
  • Greet the interviewer appropriately, shake hands firmly, smile, know the name of the person you will be interviewing with
  • Send a follow up note to the interviewer

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