Our Workforce Development Academy, Career Works, is a full service program that takes teens and young adults on a formalized journey from filling in academic gaps, career exploration and soft skills training to relevant occupational skill building, work experience and a formalized plan for their future. Program elements include mentorship, paid internships, registered pre/apprenticeships, dual-enrollment courses, full-time career placement support and post-program transition. Our goal is to help our young people surpass major barriers in the way of their success. By hiring an internal staff of BGCWPA career coaches, partnering with corporations, training intermediaries and higher-educational institutions, we connect youth and young adults with viable career options and expose them to high demand industries. Youth will also learn about building confidence, health esteem and reducing risky behaviors through our Healthy Lifestyles Program and support of our mentoring success coaches.

Click here to see a visual representation of the program, its tracks and knowledge, skills and attitudes youth gain while participating in the program.

Key Program Elements Work Experience and Credentials
  • Teens earn and alumni wages as junior staff in Clubhouses through entrepreneurial experiences and internships through our Learn & Earn Program, where they build soft skills
  • Paid summer internships available through partner corporations in a variety of areas focused on learning occupational skills needed in STEM Career
  • Earn pre/apprentice certificates and dual enrollment credits for in high-demand occupations that can be applied to post-secondary training, occupations or college.
We do whatever it takes to ensure every young adult can design and launch a great future. Through full-time career placement support including mentorship, paid internships, registered apprenticeships, dual-enrollment courses, and post-program transition services, we ensure that youth are ready to succeed in the fast-paced job market or attend other post-secondary training. 

The Career Works Program within BGCWPA consists of four tracks including:

  1. Career Works High
  2. PPG Artificial Intelligence Pathways Institute (AIPI) + Teen Accelerator
  3. Career Works Prep
  4. Career Works Tech

Career Works High
Career Works High is an innovative and engaging employment and post-secondary preparation program that allows high school students to explore future career options while learning the academic skills they need to get on the path to success. The community is strengthened with this conscious shift to invest in the next generation, keeping talent in the community and strengthening our local economy. 

Career Works High supports students as they complete their high school studies while also preparing them for viable career options in high demand industries such as Information Technology, Healthcare, Robotics and Culinary & Hospitality. All youth enrolled in the program will earn industry-recognized credentials, dual-enrollment credits and/or a pre-apprentice certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry. Additionally, our Career Works High teens currently take writing classes from Point Park University Community Media Center. 

The program model utilizes real-world learning strategies in a blended approach leveraging a combination of face to face classes held at our Career Works Centers and work-based experiences: 

  1. Personalized training to remediate basic math/writing deficiencies or credit recovery using Lexia and our Competency Based Learning Management System, LiFT
  2. Hands-on project-based learning focused on building power skills and tech literacy 
  3. Gamified training and simulations 
  4. Job shadowing and internships during the summers and throughout the year 
  5. Mentoring and career coaching/case management services 
  6. Dual enrollment programming with CCAC & Point Park University 
  7. Community service experiences and personal and professional development classes
  8. Ability to earn wages and get a laptop
  9. Access to Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s evidence based CareerLaunch and Money Matters curriculum

Career Works High is a year-long after-school program running from 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Summer session details to follow in the spring of 2020.

Click HERE to Apply for Career Works High!

PPG Artificial Intelligence Pathways Institute (AIPI) and Teen Accelerator
PPG AI Pathways Institute and Teen Accelerator is a three-week introduction to artificial intelligence, human centered design and STEM careers for rising 9th-11th grade students (ages 14-17) with a passion for technology — especially students from historically underrepresented groups in the field. AI and the fourth industrial revolution will impact every aspect of people’s lives, yet AI and machine learning has a diversity problem. Robust partnerships with leading institutions of higher education and industry, such as our primary sponsor, PPG Industries, are critical to the real-world projects AIPI members tackle.

Up to 20 members of the cohort are offered paid, part-time positions (up to 15 hours a week) for the school year after completing the three-week summer program.

Our PA Smart Awarded, AIPI + Teen Accelerator is not your average summer camp or after school program. A pioneering and first of its kind program in the region and at this point, nationally, AIPI is an intensive, interactive, hands-on and fun program that seeks to inspire the tech leaders and innovators of tomorrow. We do this by supporting the study of computer science, artificial intelligence, robotics, engineering and other closely related subjects by connecting youth to project based learning, mentorship/career exposure and connections to higher-education and industry. From trash cans that sort trash and recycling on its own to wearable devices that help treat drug addiction and more, youth will be exposed to Pittsburgh companies using artificial intelligence to solve big problems and solve some problems for them as well by coding neural networks, bots and apps.

Check back to apply for the 2020 AIPI cohort to get valuable experience, a $500 stipend, a laptop and the ability to tour tech companies!

Career Works Prep (Launching Fall 2020)
Career Works will consist of GED/credit recovery and career exploration for young adults. Each youth is provided a case manager to get them on track for success. Check back for more updates on Career Works Prep coming soon! Once our 16-24 year old out of school youth complete Career Works Prep, they become eligible for Career Works Tech.

Career Works Tech (Launching Summer 2020)
Career Works Tech is the final track of our Career Works Program. In this program, teens (16-18) and 18-24 year old youth enter into one of our pre-apprentice or apprentice programs that train them to learn  key occupational skills for high-demand careers in the region as well as connect them to employers, all while they get paid and earn a certificate from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor. Young people selecting this track will be placed directly into careers with partner companies.

Our first pre-apprentice program, in partnership with Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy trains young people for a career as a Robotics Technician. We are actively building other industry partners and building out apprentice pathways for direct career placement.

BGCWPA and Partner4Work are bringing big thinking and innovation to deliver a world-class summer employment program that continues to introduce young people to paid job experiences, explore careers and their interests while keeping them safe during uncertain times. Learn & Earn may look different from the year’s past and we are committed to moving forward, adjusting, and maintaining program integrity to provide the opportunity for young adults to grow.

This year at BGCWPA is excited to leverage our expertise in innovative learning practices to offer participants a blend of highly engaging project based learning experiences and personalized work readiness elective offerings with the support of our learning management systemLiFT and partners like MPowerhouse, Carnegie Mellon Robotics Academy and Techniques4Learning. Some of the elective offerings will include our Artificial Intelligence Pathways Institute, Drone Academy, Beats2Rhyme and more!

Our highly trained staff have developed these mastery and project based programs to keep our Learn & Earn teens engaged and learning in a blended virtual setting. Pending COVID-19 restrictions, members may also have the opportunity to complete part of their program within our brick and mortar Clubhouses. Participants will also have access to food resources and technology as needed to complete the program.

Applications are still being accepted. Apply today! 

Boys & Girls Clubs of Western Pennsylvania is proud to be an authorized partner of Parter4Work’s Learn & Earn Summer Youth Employment Program. Learn & Earn is one of the components of our Career Works Program.  Learn & Earn summer employment program is open to young people, ages 14-21, who live in Allegheny County and the City of Pittsburgh.  Participants will gain the soft skills and valuable work experience necessary to become college and career ready, and successful members of our region’s workforce. Learn & Earn is designed to provide meaningful work experience and career exposure to young adults with limited access to these types of opportunities. Teens must financially qualify to participate in the program ensuring that the teens who need it most, have access.

For more information, visit the FAQ’s pageor email teens@bgcwpa.org.