School-to-Work is a partnership between employers and high schools to provide opportunities for students to learn about the world of work. For some students, exposure to the workplace enables them to explore career ideas. For others, it’s a chance to think strategically about college. Learning becomes more relevant and engaging than in just a traditional classroom setting. School-to-Work programs can help prepare young people to be successful in life by teaching them how to act responsibly, work with others, communicate effectively, and to bring about change.
The Harvard Union of Clerical and Technical Workers coordinates a School-to-Work program with the Cambridge Office of Workforce Development, a variety of Harvard schools/departments, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. Students are selected to work in Harvard jobs for three afternoons a week as paid interns. In addition, the teens are enrolled in a weekly Program seminar, Harvard funded, addressing workplace skills and issues, collective action, and career exploration. Intern supervisors are HUCTW members.
When asked what they will take away from the Program experience, students’ responses have included, “It’s easy to want a job, but you have to actually work for your paycheck,” “I learned more about Excel and other cool software,” “Loved the union songs,” “This helped me focus more on school,” and “I learned how to be responsible for my own work.”
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