HRC created Career Exploration Services to provide internship opportunities for adults to try different kinds of work experiences, and develop skills on the job, whether they are younger and transitioning into adulthood, or are older and ready to try a new career path. Job coaches help them to learn not only their assigned work tasks, but also the work habits and social skills needed to be a good employee in any work environment.
The HRC 2013 Annual Report includes a story about three interns who were placed at the Los Angeles County Superior Courthouse in Torrance.“Their supervisors at the workplace have definitely noticed the results of all that great preparation, said Nancy Spiegel, Director of Information and Development.”
Career Exploration interns are also working in the offices of Harbor Regional Center. I talked to Carl Stuff, Direct Support Professional Intern Services,Social Vocational Services, who supervises interns at Harbor Regional Center, to learn more about the program.
Carl explains that the HRC Career Exploration program helps to prepare clients for future employment by “helping them to fine tune their skills to better prepare them for placement in jobs, teaches them some basic skills, and helps them to practice the skills they have, during the time that they are involved in their job search,” Skills they are learning include computer skills, social skills at the workplace, and telephone skills. The interns also learn tasks involving work with documents, like making copies, filing, scanning, shredding, and protecting confidentiality.
Carl said oversees a group of 12 interns every semester. He was pleased to report that about 3 to 4 people per group find jobs right away, with the help of their Supported Employment Job Developer. Others may take a little longer to find the right job. He has seen interns go on to find jobs working in mailrooms, grocery stores, and retail stores.
Heather MacPhee is one of the Career
Exploration interns currently working
Heather MacPhee feels that her internship is helping her to prepare for her job search, by teaching her about the workplace, giving her an opportunity to develop the right skills, and learning how to handle herself in a work environment. She listed some of her assignments as “doing lots of clerical work, filing, and organizing binders for employee training.” She said that sometimes the work can be a bit stressful, but its good practice in learning how to keep focused and getting the job done even when under pressure. Her Intern Services supervisor, Erin Campos is helping her prepare for her job search with mock interviews and preparing her resume. “Mock interviews are helpful because they give you the experience of understanding what the boss expects of you, said Heather.”
Heather has many other interests when she is not interning. She is a singer, actress, dancer, and plays the piano. She is auditioning for an Encore Entertainers production of Shrek, the Musical, at the Warner Theater in San Pedro. She started singing at age 2. Her goal is to find a part time job while working on a music career.