Practical Perspective: Pre-Employment Transition Services, Work-Based Learning


We have been talking about the implementation of the WIOA pre-employment transition services. In my first post, I listed the five required services and described the nine recommended activities. In my most recent post, I provided activity examples and a lesson plan for the first required service. I recommend going to the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center for additional information:


Here at Attainment Company, we are in the process of developing our Pre-Employment Transition Solution. This curriculum will provide detailed lesson plans, 12 Attainment Company products that support each lesson, and collaborative and professional development resources. As we complete our Pre-Employment Transition Solution Curriculum, I will share lessons that have been developed for the classroom and the community within this blog.

The second required service listed in WIOA is work-based learning experiences. This Pre-ETS activity will help students experience real-life work activities. Students working in the community will gain skills and knowledge to support their transition from school to employment and future career opportunities. It is important that employers are directly involved, in order to ensure student engagement within their communities. These opportunities are meant to engage, motivate, and expand on the student’s school experiences.

The Pre-ETS activities in work-based learning experiences should include:

  • Apprenticeships
  • Job shadowing
  • Career mentorship
  • Career-related competitions
  • Informational interviews
  • Paid internships
  • Non-paid internships
  • Practicum
  • Service learning
  • Student-led enterprises
  • Simulated workplace experiences
  • Paid work experiences
  • Non-paid work experiences
  • Volunteering
  • Workplace tours/field trips


Example Lesson Plan:

Learning Objective: Students will learn how to acquire new job skills through career mentorship.

  1. Teach students about career mentors and how to find a career mentor.
    • Career mentors are one route to acquiring new job skills, and to meeting people who could help students to find a job in the future.
  2. Share the role and the expectations of a career mentor (weekly emails, monthly meetings for one hour, for one semester) with students.
  3. Create a letter for the students to share with a potential career mentor that describes the benefits of, and expectations and appreciation for, having a career mentor.
    • Participating as a career mentor for a young person is an important role!
  4. Have students complete a worksheet with the following prompts:
    • First, think about the job or career that interests you: Write down three ideas from your previous interest inventory worksheet.
    • Now, think about people you know who currently have this job, and businesses that you are familiar with where this job can be found. Write down as many people and businesses as you can. This list will be the start of who you may ask to be your career mentor.
    • The next step is to reach out to those people or businesses. Write down contact information for people who could possibly be career mentors for you.

Supplemental Activity Ideas: 

  • Invite a career mentor to share their experiences with the class.
  • Invite a past student to share their experiences with the class.
  • Send information about career mentorship home with students. They can discuss their options for possible career mentors, and their family may have suggestions about who could be asked and where to get their contact information.


Check back next month for more information about Pre-ETS and the required activities for WIOA!


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