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Work Experience Program

What is a Work Experience?

The Work Experience program through Bay Area Workforce Development Board’s (BAWDB) WIOA program, provides an opportunity for employers to impact the quality and preparedness of the next generation of workers.  It also provides career exploration, academic and occupational learning opportunities, on an employer’s premises, that allows young adults (ages 16-24) to examine and work in a field of interest or study.

In a work experience, a participant carries out specific tasks and duties, much as an employee would.  Emphasis is placed on the learning aspects of the experience. BAWDB is the employer of record, but looks for worksites within a participant’s area of interest/study.  A typical work experience lasts for 200 hours total; however, the specific number of hours can be tailored based on the needs of the participant and worksite.

What are the benefits to employers?

  1. Develop recruitment channels – build connections and attract young adults to jobs.  Work experience can help identify potential future employees and reduce recruitment costs.
  2. Opportunity to develop and evaluate potential, future employees – Develop and groom a motivated employee, tailored to your specific business or workforce needs.  The work experience can be used as time to evaluate a young adult’s potential for permanent employment without a long-term commitment.
  3. No cost to worksite – Bay Area Workforce Development Board is the employer of record and carries worker’s compensation insurance for each participant.
  4. Impact the quality of future employees – Directly support the quality and preparedness of young adults coming into the workforce.
  5. Social responsibility – Increase corporate social responsibility strategies that are important to employees, customers and the local community.

What some employers & participants are saying:  

Employer’s perspective:

“Verkuilen Chiropractic & Wellness Center has participated in the Work Experience Program two times within the past few years.  Each time we were very impressed with the performance of the young adults who participated. It was a pleasure to see and connect with such hard working young individuals who care about the healthcare profession.  The passion and enthusiasm they had was contagious, and they brought an excitement to learn that really added to overall clinic positivity.

Serving as a mentor was an honor, and allowed us to be part of ensuring the future quality of healthcare will continue to thrive.  I believe being taught in a classroom is extremely important, but there is something to being in the actual work setting that gives invaluable experience. I saw firsthand an increase in communication skills as well as confidence in each participant. Needless to say we look forward to participating again!”

Dr. Jennifer Skibba, D.C.

“We utilized the work experience program through Bay Area Workforce Development two times in the past couple of years.  And both experiences were positive. The process was simple, and it was nice having a candidate come in and work 200 hours – giving us time to make sure they would work out. In fact, one of the participants is still working for us!  I would definitely recommend the program”.

Scott Tanner, Service Manager

Service Motor Company

“Our experience with the program was very positive.  We were able to provide an opportunity for an upcoming physical therapy assistant to obtain real life work experience. At the same time, we gained an “employee” who helped us with various aspects of our program.  It was definitely a win-win and I would highly recommend the program!”

Nancy Fugate, Director of Therapy Services

CP Center

Participant perspective:

“In March 2018, I started a work experience at the CP Center. At first, I really wasn’t sure what to expect, but that soon became clear to me. The CP Center has a wide variety of areas they specialize in to help many people around the area. I was placed specifically in the Pediatric Physical Therapy department as a therapy services aide; a perfect fit since I am currently in school to be a physical therapy assistant.

I worked alongside the therapy aide and helped in whatever was needed of me. From cleaning the gyms to filing papers. I also was given the opportunity to shadow and help the PTs and PTAs as they guided in providing therapy to children and adults with disabilities. I have learned so much over the 5 months I was at the CP Center. Not only did I learn more about my future career, but it really showed me that physical therapy is what I really want for my future. I will be forever grateful for this incredible experience and hope that it will continue for others to come”.

H.B., work experience participant

Career services specialist perspective:

“About a year and a half ago I was introduced to Sue. She was a single mother of two young children working with another program for families within our agency. While working with the other program she expressed her thoughts to her case manager on returning to school to study auto mechanics but had no idea where to start and even if it was a possibility for her. Sue had never had a job, was dependent on community programs and had very little financial support from her boyfriend because he also is underemployed. Her case manager referred her to me with the Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act (WIOA).

As I began to get to know Sue, I could tell she was determined not to let her barriers get in her way anymore but she was definitely scared. I began to work with Sue on career exploration and how attending post-secondary school would look to her both financially and the effect on her personally. Time was scheduled to meet with advisors and sign up for classes in the Auto Technician program at NWTC and she was able to begin the process.

Before classes started in the fall semester, WIOA was able to arrange a fantastic paid work experience opportunity at a place of business as an auto technician under the head mechanic who was very happy to help Sue learn and ensure this is the career path she would like to pursue. And this was her first job! Sue was extremely grateful for this chance and was able to complete the hours into the school year. She struggled a bit with going to work and school but came out of it with a great sense of accomplishment.

I have worked closely with Sue in setting attainable goals as she continues through the Auto Tech program and have seen her fill with confidence. She has secured employment and has been successfully able to balance family, work and school. Sue is going into her final semester starting this January and will graduate in May with a degree in the automotive technician program. WIOA was and remains an integral resource and positive support system for Sue. I’m excited to see her complete this journey and am thrilled to witness her continued success”.

L. Fenrick: Career Services Specialist

If interested in learning more about the Work Experience Program, please contact Vickie Patterson, at (920) 431-4108 or email vpatterson@bayareaWDB.org.


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