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Program Element 3 - Paid and unpaid work experiences

Paid and unpaid work experiences that have academic and occupational education as a component of the work experience, which may include the following types of work experiences:

(i) Summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year;

(ii) Preapprenticeship programs;

(iii) Internships and job shadowing; and

(iv) Onthejob training opportunities


Work Experiences

- Planned, structured learning experiences that provide the youth participant with opportunities for career exploration and skill development and that take place in a workplace for a limited period of time.
- May be paid or unpaid, as appropriate.
-May take place in the private for‐profit sector, the non‐profit sector, or the public sector.
- Labor standards apply in any work experience where an employee/employer relationship, as defined by the Fair Labor Standards Act or applicable State law, exists.
- Consistent with 20 CFR 680.840 et. seq., funds provided for work experiences may not be used to directly or indirectly aid in the filling of a job opening that is vacant because the former occupant is on strike, or is being locked out in the course of a labor dispute, or the filling of which is otherwise an issue in a labor dispute involving a work stoppage.
- Helps youth understand proper workplace behavior and what is necessary in order to attain and retain employment. It can serve as a stepping stone to unsubsidized employment and is an important step in the process of developing a career pathway for youth.
- Should be made available to any youth who has been assessed as capable of participating in work activities. The particular activity (pre‐apprenticeship, OJT, etc.) should be determined based on the objective assessment of the youth, and the justification recorded in the youth’s ISS.
- Youth who could benefit from work activities include: No previous work experience; only informal work experience (mowing lawns, babysitting); unsuccessful work history (worked only for very short durations).


Note on Work Experience: WIOA and 20 CFR 681.590(a) require that local workforce development areas expend a minimum of 20 percent of their non‐administrative youth funds on work experience. For additional information, see New Jersey Workforce Innovation Notice 20‐16


Work Experiences Components

Local programs have the flexibility to determine the appropriate type of academic and occupational education necessary for a specific work experience. Work experiences must also include an educational component that:
- refers to contextual learning that accompanies a work experience
- consists of both academic and occupational education
- may occur concurrently or sequentially with the work experience
- may occur inside or outside the work site
- can be provided by the work experience employer, provided separately in the classroom or through other means. States and local areas have the flexibility to decide who provides the education component.


Work Experience Categories

(1) summer employment opportunities and other employment opportunities available throughout the school year;
(2) pre‐apprenticeship programs;
(3) internships and job shadowing; and
(4) on‐the‐job training (OJT) opportunities as defined in WIOA Section 3(44) and in 20 CFR 680.700.


Job Shadowing

Job shadowing:
- Youth learn about a job by walking through the work day as a shadow to a competent worker. They witness firsthand the work environment, employability and occupational skills in practice, the value of professional training, and potential career options
- Temporary, unpaid exposure to the workplace in an occupational area of interest to the participant.
- Can be anywhere from a few hours, to a day, to a week or more.
- Provides an opportunity for youth to conduct short interviews with people in their prospective professions to learn more about those fields.


Pre Apprenticeship Programs

As discussed in 20 CFR 681.480, pre‐apprenticeship is a program designed to prepare individuals to enter and succeed in an apprenticeship program and includes the following elements:
(a) training and curriculum that aligns with the skill needs of employers in the economy of the State or region involved;
(b) access to educational and career counseling and other supportive services, directly or indirectly;
(c) hands‐on, meaningful learning activities that are connected to education and training activities, such as exploring career options, and understanding how the skills acquired through coursework can be applied toward a future career;
(d) opportunities to attain at least one industry‐recognized credential; and
(e) a partnership with one or more registered apprenticeship programs that assists in placing individuals who complete the pre‐apprenticeship program in a registered apprenticeship program.


OnTheJob Training

The term ‘‘on‐the‐job training’’ means training by an employer that is provided to a paid participant while engaged in productive work in a job that—

(a) provides knowledge or skills essential to the full and adequate performance of the job;
(b) is made available through a program that provides reimbursement to the employer of up to 50 percent of the wage rate of the participant, except as provided in section 134(c)(3)(H), for the extraordinary costs of providing the training and additional supervision related to the training; and
(c) is limited in duration as appropriate to the occupation for which the participant is being trained, taking into account the content of the training, the prior work experience of the participant, and the service strategy of the participant, as appropriate


Legal Requirements

- Minors aged 14‐17 must have a work permit
- Employers must comply with all state and federal child labor laws


Examples of Qualifying Activities

- Employment for which youth are paid a wage
- Employment that is linked to the career or employment goal as stated in the youth’s ISS
- Academic and occupational skill training provided in conjunction with employment


Examples of nonQualifying activities

- Stand‐alone summer employment programs that are not linked to year‐round programs
- Employment that is not in the career field reflected in the youth’s ISS
- Tutoring activities that focus on graduation test preparation, high school equivalency preparation, or other academic support that is not directly related to the employment placement
- Unpaid work experience


Workforce GPS provides additional information and ideas on providing successful work experiences for youth including workbased learning, summer employment models, apprenticeship and internships.