We hear these similar stories at JEVS Human Services. Over and over.
“I don’t know what I want to do with my life. I don’t see myself in a career.”
“I can’t afford to go to college. I don’t want to go into debt.”
“I decided to go right to work after high school. Didn’t seem like many other options for me.”
“I dropped out of high school. It wasn’t for me. But now I want to get my life back on track.”
“I tried [college, training, etc.] before and it didn’t work out. I’m scared to go back.”
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for these scenarios. There’s not one magic program we offer that can solve the personal challenges of all of our clients. But, what JEVS has put into place over the last five years is an expanding portfolio of career and technical education (CTE) offerings that 1) teach skills-based careers and 2) create opportunities for individuals to enter into JEVS and take advantage of multiple options—paving a pathway—of success. All with the goal of preparing them for meaningful next steps in life.
CTE Post-Secondary Offerings
Orleans Technical College
JEVS’s flagship CTE program operated since 1974 is Orleans Technical College, recognized in 2018 with a national “School of Distinction” honor by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. This post-secondary school prepares adults for careers in the building and construction trades. Students receive intensive, real-world, hands-on training in a curriculum that is informed by local employers and evolves as new technologies, new tools, new ways of doing things, come along.
Orleans Tech has forged partnerships with companies in the region to provide entry-level jobs to graduates of the school. In addition, through a new relationship with Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC), Orleans graduates are beginning to enter apprenticeship opportunities. As an example of this commitment to workforce development, 78% of the 74 graduates* of one of the school’s training programs were placed into related employment. (* Began air conditioning, refrigeration & heating training between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018.)
Orleans Technical College held two significant events acknowledging CTE Month:
- On National Signing Day on February 20, 2020, Orleans Tech became an National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) leadership school. This nationally recognized standard for certifications and workforce development will help to enhance the credentials and marketability of our students.
- On February 27, 2020, Orleans Tech held a Hiring Expo to help local companies tackling the growing demand for qualified workers. The event hosted 50 employers spanning the trades industry (plumbing, electrical, HVAC, building maintenance, carpentry, etc.) and 100+ soon-to-be Orleans graduates and alumni eagerly looking for their first job or a new job in the field. The Expo was highlighted on 6ABC Action News:
JEVS+SNHU College Degree Program
JEVS’s newest CTE program is a career-oriented college degree partnership with Southern New Hampshire University. The JEVS+SNHU program provides individuals with flexible, affordable online degree programs in a variety of in-demand fields, such as health care management, communications and business studies. Working with a personal support coach from JEVS, students can graduate with an accelerated degree from SNHU with very low or no tuition debt. (See infographic below for the cost of the program compared to other traditional college programs).
Students receive a high-quality education that emphasizes real-world career skills needed in the workplaces of today and tomorrow–the true definition of career and technical education. Coursework is competency-based, allowing students to “master” learning objectives through projects and assignments and advance to the next level. For students eager to move through these objectives, they can graduate in a lesser time than the typical two years for an associate degree and four years for a bachelor’s.
The program is ideal for working adults who need a degree to move up the corporate ladder, college students who may not have completed their degree, young adults seeking alternative degree programs, and those who need to balance personal commitments (family, job, etc) with their educational commitment.
JEVS Human Services also offers several career and technical education programs where students experience career pathway/career exploration through a comprehensive curriculum, including:
• hands-on skills training
• mentorship & career coaching
• professional development
• community work experiences & internships
These programs combine in-classroom instruction, as well as work-based learning opportunities outside the classroom. In most cases, at the end of the program, participants–many of whom are youth or of disadvantaged populations–may be equipped with certifications, credentials and skills to then move on to a registered apprenticeship, employment and/or higher education (including JEVS’ Orleans Technical College and JEVS+SNHU Program). Some programs are open to young adults without a high school diploma and help them to prepare to take the GED test or high school equivalency, before they complete the program and move on to the next stage.
More information can be found on each by clicking on the program name:
A CTE Success Story
On February 14, 2020, The New York Times profiled one of JEVS’s outstanding CTE program graduates, Markus Mitchell, and his journey to change his life’s path. His story comes full circle as he was hired as JEVS’s first IT apprentice, which then turned into full-time employment.
JEVS operates several programs that provide employment support and services, while connecting clients to career and technical education opportunities—whether they are seeking new skills or need to upgrade their skills to succeed in a competive job market. Examples include hireAbililty, E3 Power Center City, Work Ready, and The Choice is Yours. PA CareerLink in Suburban Station, Center City Philadelphia, operated by JEVS, also connects individuals who have been laid off or who are out of work to JEVS programs or other CTE providers throughout the Greater Philadelphia region.
As JEVS Human Services continues to partner with employers—throughout Greater Philadelphia and South Jersey—to facilitate opportunities and hiring solutions for the regional skills gap, we will also continue to evolve Career and Technical Education offerings and connections to prepare students from all walks of life for high-demand employment and/or pathways to career success.