Career Ready

AIU Career Connections Apprenticeships offer a unique glimpse of students' futures

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Career Ready

photo by Abby Birch

photo by Abby Birch

photo by Abby Birch

Abby Birch, Reporter

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Some kids have known since age six exactly what career path they want to follow, but most do not. Yet a popular program administered through the GOAL Office in conjunction with the Allegheny Intermediate Unit may appeal to both groups.

The 2020 Career Connections program offers students in high school an opportunity to meet and work with professionals while exploring careers in a hands-on way in a variety of fields to learn exactly what a job entails. The programs provide a chance for students to learn more in-depth about the career they are interested in as well as make connections with people and organizations in those fields. The programs entail one-to-four-day apprenticeship opportunities.

The apprenticeships serve students in multiple ways.

Many students have confirmed their career interests by participating in an apprenticeship, GOAL facilitator Mrs. Lombardi said.  “Conversely, some students have completely ruled out careers by doing an apprenticeship.”

Lombardi is excited to continue the popular program next year.

“Some apprenticeships allow students to visit worksites, hospitals, theaters, and unusual venues like the zoo,” she added. “These real-world experiences provide an opportunity that simply cannot be replicated in a classroom.”

Junior Kenna White participated in the program last year and had an apprenticeship at the Pittsburgh Zoo.

“It was a really good experience to have,” White said. “I can definitely say I learned a lot and had a lot of fun working up close with the animals.”

The online application, which entails a $75 fee and various waivers and releases, can be completed at www.aiu3.net/careerconnections. and the deadline is May 22.  Applicants should inform the GOAL office that they have applied and then GOAL will provide a teacher recommendation form to be completed. The GOAL office will upload the form to AIU.  Some programs do include extra costs, and the application fee will be refunded if an applicant is not accepted into the program.