1.3 CAREER EXPLORATION. Provide meaningful career exploration opportunities for residents entering the labor force or considering changing careers. Such opportunities could include career fairs, job shadowing, work-based learning, site/workplace tours, and integration with career & technical education programs


  • Backbone (Lead)
  • Education & Training (Support)
  • Industry Partnerships (Support)
  • Communications (Advisory)
  • Data & Evaluation (Advisory)
  • Policy & Systems Change (Advisory)

1.3.1. Develop a landing page or microsite to help create career exploration programs, including work-based learning and earn-and-learn opportunities

  • Use this toolkit to support outreach activities and the development of effective programs
  • Make the toolkit available online to improve distribution of the materials (e.g., Climb the Ladder CTX microsite)


Career exploration includes activities that provide opportunities for hands-on exploration of careers, including job shadowing, plant tours, internships, summer jobs, career simulations or role play, and project-based learning that includes “real-life” career-related problem solving.

Multiple toolkits have been published online and can be helpful examples to pull from. Examples include:

1.3.2. Generate more interest in developing and hosting career exploration programs and inventory programs

  • Hold information sessions and one-on-one meetings with industry partners as well as education and training partners, to discuss the importance of career exploration and how participation can benefit employers and job seekers alike 
  • Identify partners who are interested in providing more career exploration activities
  • Track in CRM tool existing and potential partners who wish to participate in career exploration opportunities, capturing specific contact names and what kinds of opportunities they provide or support

1.3.3. Support the development of new career exploration programs and enhancement of existing programs 

  • Connect interested employers with education and training providers who are organizing these activities for students and workers to provide individualized and small-scale opportunities
  • Hold workshops with providers and employers to train them on how to organize effective career exploration/coaching activities, use toolkits, and exchange ideas and experiences
  • Recognize employers and providers who develop successful programs to celebrate their efforts, raise awareness of successful programs, and promote the replication of successful models (i.e., Make It Movement)

1.3.4. Organize larger scale events and opportunities that raise awareness and provide career exploration such as Manufacturing Day or Healthcare Week 

  • Leverage national events organized by industry associations, where possible, to take advantage of the outreach materials and toolkits that are part of these events
  • Enlist employers to provide a site tour or other type of experiential learning activity to individuals from target audiences (or a sub-set of the target audiences)
  • Coordinate with training providers to line up participants for the employers’ events
  • Organize, promote, and scale up the event 

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