KenCrest has successfully provided employment-related supports to high-school-aged students for more than 15 years, connecting them to careers and a variety of employment opportunities. School-aged services are most successful when a team approach is utilized. KenCrest loves to work with teams to develop exciting and creative outcomes for young people. We use person-centered planning strategies including Charting the LifeCourse to help young people to identify their career dreams and develop a plan to attain those dreams. KenCrest offers a wide variety of opportunities available to young people in high school to meet all their employment support needs and wants. Services are available in Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania.
KenCrest’s employment team can partner with school districts or individual families to provide young people with career-related supports. These supports include: career planning, work assessments, community mapping, resume development (traditional, visual, or electronic), personal website development, interview preparation, internships, job placement, job training, and long-term supports.
KenCrest supports two Project SEARCH programs. In Montgomery County, our program operates at GlaxoSmithKline Upper Providence and in Chester County at the Phoenixville Hospital. Project SEARCH is a one-year, on-the-job training program for students in their last year of high school. These students spend their days interning at the host business with support from a KenCrest on-site educator and a job coach. Each program collaborates with the host business, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), the participating school district, and the Office of Mental Health/Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MH/IDD).
The Alternative Careers Education Supports (ACES) program is a collaboration between a school district and KenCrest, providing school-to-career supports for students who have completed all of their academic requirements, have one or more years remaining before exiting high school, and are interested in community-based activities and employment skill building. This program combines classroom activities focused on job readiness with a variety of community-based opportunities, including volunteering and career exploration visits to community businesses. The ACES program is currently available at Norristown Area High School in Montgomery County, PA. We welcome partnerships with additional school districts to bring this unique experience to more students.
Pre-Employment Transition Supports (PRETS) through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR)
KenCrest partners with OVR to provide two services: paid work experiences and job shadowing. In a paid work experience, a young person will work 40 hours within a community-based business with job coaching support and will receive an hourly stipend. In job shadowing, a young person will visit a community-based business and observe the work of an employee to better understand the job and the job duties common in that role. Any youth interested in these services should discuss this option with your OVR counselor for referral to KenCrest.
For more information on any of these school-to-career services, please contact Jessica Birkmire at firstname.lastname@example.org.