Business Partnerships (Work-Based Learning)

The local business community understands the importance of Work Based Learning and workforce development. Our partners provide valuable opportunities for career exploration and preparation for our students in real world settings.

Business Partnerships

Career and Transition Services partners provide work-based learning opportunities. These opportunities improve students' success. Graduates are more likely to engage in post-secondary employment and education.  They develop hard and soft skills for future jobs and careers. Career and Transition Services activities include:

  • Regional or industry-specific career and job fairs
  • Informative business tours
  • Enlightening job shadowing experiences
  • Expert guest speakers
  • Motivational mentoring events
  • Meaningful volunteer opportunities
  • Valuable community work experiences and internships
  • Life changing youth apprenticeships
  • Competitive full and part-time employment

Employment and Transition Representatives coordinate Work Based Learning for their students.

How Can My Businesses or Organization Contribute?

Students want information about your training, profession, and industry. Once they know more, they want to see you in action. Then, they want to give it a try themselves. Help students with disabilities train and prepare for their futures. Our community partners offer so many great opportunities to learn and grow.

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These are some of our partners in action during the 2021-22 school year:

  • Weird Brothers Coffee partnered with Herndon High School. Together, they created a school-based coffee service- Independence Coffee. Students not only prepare coffee. They also provide customer service, handle money and complete inventories.
  • Fairfax County Government sponsors a Teen Job Fair each year. Events take place throughout the county. Students got to meet local employers and explore options for employment.
  • MITRE Corporation hosted neurodiverse students for a day of exploration. Students met with employees who have similar backgrounds. They provided our students with a snapshot of their experiences in the workplace. They encouraged the students to be strong self-advocates.
  • CVS Health worked hard to resume 20 community work sites during a pandemic. Their staff advocated for our students to return to work at their retail stores. These real-world experiences will last a lifetime.
  • Annandale High School hosted four Career Roundtables; 110 students participated. They highlighted the following careers:
    • Culinary arts
    • Auto tech
    • Finance
    • Real estate
    • Military
    • Medical
    • Law enforcement
    • Veterinary
  • West Springfield renovated a garden on the school campus. Guest speakers from The Arc of Montgomery County Commercial Lawn Care provided useful tips. The students honed their skills with crucial equipment. They also received a grant to buy materials from Educate Fairfax.
  • A Westfield High School student shadowed a welder at Woodson Complex. This led to a FCPS internship opportunity with Trades for Tomorrow. Westfield also directed eight students to internships through WIOA.
  • Justice High School had a record number of students hired for part-time positions at Target in Falls Church. In the past, store managers appeared as guest speakers. They reviewed employer expectations and the application process. Target knows that students with disabilities have talent.
  • Panera in Vienna advocated for the hire of a Cedar Lane School student. The student caught their eye during a community work experience.

The rest is history! In a typical year, Career and Transition Services works with over 350 partners to place approximately 1,200 students in community work sites.

Career and Transition Services builds new partnerships each year but relies on a long list of established allies as well. Our community partners offer a wide range of learning opportunities in many work settings. Some of our top business partners include:

  • Burlington Coat Factory
  • Giant Foods
  • Greenspring Village
  • Marriott Hotels
  • Metropolitan Washington Airport Authority
  • INOVA Health System
  • Papa John’s Pizza
  • Social Security Administration
  • Sodexo
  • United States Geological Survey
  • Walmart

balloons icon Career and Transition Services Partner of the Year Award

Career and Transition Services recognizes valued business partners who support Work Based Learning. They connect with our students and invest in the future.

The recipient for 2022 is Results Fitness in Alexandria.

Fitness is a new partner of Pulley Career Center for the 2021-2022 school year. From the beginning, Mr. Bob Shepherd, V.P. of Results Fitness, has been a champion of our program. In the middle of a pandemic, and in need of additional job sites for our students, Mr. Shepherd welcomed our students and our program with open arms. Mr. Shepherd was easy to work with and emphasized the importance that he felt of hiring one of our students. Mr. Shepherd worked with the student step by step to ensure that everything was aligned to get the student hired. Our students truly enjoy their experience at Results Fitness, they look forward to attending the site and a few of them now aspire to work at a fitness center. Mr. Shepherd and Results Fitness believing in the importance of and supporting work-based learning, connecting with our students and investing in their future.

Michael Symanski
Pulley Career Center

Some additional nominations included Capital Caring, Metro Flower Market and Nalls Produce. One business, Golfdom, was nominated two times!

Business Partner Benefits from Work-Based Learning

  • Engage youth with disabilities
  • Expand your pool of applicants
  • Reduce your training costs
  • Enhance the diversity of your workforce
  • Improve employee morale
  • Influence curriculum related to your industry
  • Strengthen ties to the community
  • Expand your customer base
  • Increase disability awareness
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How Can My Business Connect With Students?

Contact Career and Transition Services by phone at 571-423-4150. Our experienced staff will help you develop opportunities at your workplace. We can help you identify your needs and facilitate your ideas. Tap into our pool of talented students. Get started today!