Employment Of Youth Under 18 Years Of Age In Agricultural Occupations

Employers, schools and students are impacted by a number of labor laws as they participate in work-based learning activities. The degree to which coverage is mandated is dependent on the individual situation. Coverage is principally affected by the determination of whether or not an employer-employee relationship exists between the employer and student.

Child labor laws were enacted to protect minors from injury in the workplace and to prevent work from interfering with education. Students in work-based learning opportunities may engage in a range of types and intensities of activities in the workplace from gaining career awareness through job shadowing, to learning occupational and employability skills by working in internships or youth apprenticeships.

Employers, schools and students are impacted by a number of labor laws as they participate in work-based learning activities. The degree to which coverage is mandated is dependent on the individual situation. Coverage is principally affected by the determination of whether or not an employer-employee relationship exists between the employer and student.

Child labor laws were enacted to protect minors from injury in the workplace and to prevent work from interfering with education. Students in work-based learning opportunities may engage in a range of types and intensities of activities in the workplace from gaining career awareness through job shadowing, to learning occupational and employability skills by working in internships or youth apprenticeships.

Federal Fair Labor Standards Acts (FLSA) Child Labor Provisions

The FLSA was passed in 1938 and is a federal law enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. The law applies to all fifty states and ninety percent of nonagricultural businesses. All states also have child labor laws. If the FLSA and the state’s child labor laws regulate the same activity, the stricter labor standard is the one that applies, e.g., Nebraska Child Labor Law requires that all workers under age 16 obtain an Employment Certificate from the school district in which the child resides. The following conditions are based on the Federal law.

  • The FLSA applies only when an (employer/employee) relationship exists. When a child reaches the age of eighteen, the child labor law does not apply.
  • Provisions for work in agriculture are less restrictive than those for non-agricultural work. Agriculture is defined in FLSA as “includes farming in all its branches…performed by a farmer or on a farm as an incident to or in conjunction with such farming occupations” (29 CFR 780.103).
  • Child labor law for agricultural occupations stipulates conditions of employment in three major areas: Age and Hour Limitations, Occupational Limitations, and Hazardous Occupations Order Exemption Qualifications.

Why Employ Youth Under Age 18?

It has become increasingly apparent that structured work- based learning enhances rather than detracts from education by reinforcing academic learning and highlighting the relevance of education to goals in later life. The employment of youth under age 18 is desirable in many instances because of the need:

  • To create early opportunities for youth to develop an awareness of new and emerging careers so they can more effectively plan postsecondary education pursuits.
  • To introduce youth to the modern workplace, equipment and actual workplace problems.
  • To give youth access to jobs that require more knowledge and skills than ordinary youth jobs.
  • To allow youth to experience a career field before the 12th grade so they can adjust their academic and career program of study before graduation.
  • To demonstrate to youth that high performance in high school “counts” in students’ plans for the future.
  • To enable students to observe the interaction of all aspects of a company’s operations
 

Age and Hour Limitations

Under 12 Years of Age

Youths under 12 years old may perform jobs on farms owned or operated by parents or, with parents’ written consent, outside of school hours in nonhazardous jobs on farms not covered by the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

12 and 13 Year Olds

Youth who are 12 and 13 years of age may work outside of school hours in nonhazardous jobs, either with parent’s written consent or on the same farm as the parents.

14 and 15 Year Olds

Youth who are 14 and 15 years of age may work outside of school hours in nonhazardous jobs. Fourteen and fifteen-year-old students enrolled in a state-recognized agricultural education program may obtain an exemption from Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Orders 1,2,3,4,5, and 6 listed on the next page.

Employing Youth 16 & Older

Employing Youth 16 & Older

16 and 17 Year Olds

Youth who are 16 and 17 years of age may perform any agricultural job, whether hazardous or not, and whether during school hours or not, for unlimited hours. Educators, employers, and parents should, however, control the hours to ensure that education remains the student’s top priority.

 


Agricultural Occupation Limitations

There are eleven Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Orders (AHOO) described in detail in the law. Minors under age 16 may not be employed to work in these occupations unless they qualify for an exemption as a student learner or apprentice enrolled in a state-recognized training program. Industry can hire 14 and 15-year-old students to work in AHOO # 1, 2,3,4,5, and 6 if they work in partnership with an approved educational facility and an agreement has been signed by the employer, the school, a parent, and the student (see Exemption Qualifications). There are no exemptions for AHOO # 7, 8,9,10, and 11.

  • AHO 1* Operating a tractor of over 20 PTO horsepower, or connecting or disconnecting an implement or any of its parts to or from such a tractor.
  • AHO 2* Operating or assisting to operate any of the following machines: corn picker, cotton picker, grain combine, hay mower, forage harvester, hay baler, potato digger, or mobile pea viner; feed grinder, crop dryer, forage blower, auger conveyor, or the unloading mechanism of a non-gravity-type self-unloading wagon or trailer; power post-hole digger; power post driver, or non-walking-type rotary tiller.
  • AHO 3* Operating or assisting to operate the following machines: trencher or earthmoving equipment, fork lift, potato combine, power-driven circular, band, or chain saw.
  • AHO 4* Working on a farm in a yard, pen, or stall occupied by a bull, boar, or study horse maintained for breeding purposes; sow with suckling pigs; or cow with newborn calf.
  • AHO 5* Felling, bucking, skidding, loading, or unloading timber with butt diameter of more than 6 inches
  • AHO 6* Working from ladder/scaffold at a height of over 20 feet.
  • AHO 7 Driving a bus, truck, or automobile when transporting passengers, or riding on a tractor as a passenger or helper.
  • AHO 8 Working inside a fruit, forage, or grain storage designed to regain an oxygen deficient or toxic atmosphere; an upright silo within 2 weeks after silage has been added or when a top unloading device is in operating position; a manure pit; or a horizontal silo while operating tractor for packing purposes.
  • AHO 9 Handling or applying agricultural chemicals identified by the word poison and the skull and crossbones on the label or those identified by the word warning on the label.
  • AHO 10 Handling or using a blasting agent, including but not limited to dynamite, black powder, sensitized ammonium nitrate, blasting caps, and primer cord.
  • AHO 11 Transporting, transferring, or applying anhydrous ammonia.

Agricultural Hazardous Occupations Order (AHHO) Exemption Qualifications (29 CFR 570.50)

An AHHO Exemption allows industry and schools working in partnership to be protected under the child labor law and employ students in some hazardous agricultural occupations. Child labor regulations allow limited involvement in the six hazardous occupations starred (*) above if the individual is at least 14 years old, a cooperative education student-learner or apprentice, and all of the following requirements are properly met:

Individual must be 16-17 years old

Student Learner must be:

  • enrolled in a state-recognized course, e.g. COOP program.
  • employed under a written Training Agreement signed by the employer, school, parent, and student.
  • employed under a written Training Plan that clearly identifies the competencies the student is expected to attain in the related high school course and as a result of the on-the job training.
  • employed with the understanding that the hazardous portion of the work:
    • is incidental to training.
    • is intermittent and for short periods of time.
    • is under direct and close supervision of a qualified person.
    • follows safety instructions given by the school and/or the employer on the job.

APPRENTICES must be:

  • employed in an apprenticeship program registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (BAT).
  • employed with the understanding that the hazardous portion of the work.
  • is incidental to training.
  • is intermittent and for short periods of time.
  • is under direct and close supervision of a qualified person.

The following are not required by FLSA, but are recommended to insure the safety and well-being of the student apprentices.)

  • provided with safety instructions given by the school and/or the employer on the job.
  • employed under a written Training Agreement signed by the employer, school, parent, and student.
  • employed under a written Training Plan that clearly identifies the competencies the student is expected to attain in the related high school course and as a result of the on-the job training.

Legal Considerations

Structured WBL includes a planned program of training and work experience at progressively higher levels, is related to the career interest of the student, and is coordinated with the school site learning component. There MUST be a connection between the work experience and the school curriculum.

Employment of Youth Under 18 Years of Age

Employers, schools and students are impacted by a number of labor laws as they participate in WBL activities. Coverage is primarily affected by the determination of whether an employer-employee relationship exists between the employer and student.  The participant’s status at the work site is critical in the design, implementation, and monitoring of all work site experiences. Participants will usually have one of the following work site roles.

Unpaid Roles (not considered employees)

Student/Visitor/Observer. Participant visits the work site to observe and learn about a career, work activity, or other aspects of an industry.

Volunteer. Participant serves unpaid for public service or humanitarian objectives.

Unpaid Trainee. Participant is trained at a business/industry work site without compensation. Company permits student to work under direct supervision to gain exposure to a particular occupation.

Paid Roles (considered employees)

Student Learner. Participant is enrolled in a career education program of study and in a cooperative training program under a recognized state/local educational authority or private school.

Apprentice. Participant is employed in a craft recognized as an apprenticeable trade that is registered by the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training.

Employee. Participant is hired by private/public employer to perform work. No structured relationship exists between school and work.

Insurance/Liability

A risk financing plan provides for the financing of a potential loss. A complete risk management plan requires adequate insurance coverage and use of liability shields.

Insurance Coverage

Adequate insurance coverage for any type of WBL program can be arranged by working in conjunction with an agent or broker who is familiar with the program and with the schools or agencies who may be parties to the program. The following types of insurance need to be in place to cover WBL activities.

Workers Compensation. The purpose of this type of insurance is to provide coverage to employees when they sustain injuries that arise out of, and in the course of employment. State law governs the issue of workers compensation, which provides a means of recovery for workers where an employee/employer relationship exists (individual receives some type of compensation). Unpaid trainees and volunteers are not ordinarily covered. Employers limit their liability because worker benefits are limited by statute.

Injury to Participants. Medical expenses for employees will ordinarily be paid by the company’s workers compensation policy. For the student/visitor,volunteer, or unpaid trainee, expenses are usually paid by the injured individuals (or parents) health insurance policy. The medical payments provision of a company’s general liability policy would also provide similar coverage for an injured non-employee.

Coverage for Lawsuits. A company’s liability policy pays claims and provides legal defense against most types of suits brought against a company and its employees, but such policies do not usually cover a student/visitor, volunteer, or unpaid trainees. An endorsement may extend coverage to these individuals.

Liability Shields

Liability shields are used to assign responsibility from a business to another person or organization in case of an accident or property damage. Four common liability shields are:

Waivers. Documents in which participants waive their right to bring a lawsuit in the event of injury or damage. Courts seldom allow waivers to excuse negligence or a duty owed a minor.

Consent Forms. Documents that inform the participant (and parent/guardian) of the risks involved in the activity that he/she is about to perform. Consent forms are generally upheld by courts, but do not excuse a company/school from responsibilities for its own negligence.

Permission Slips. Documents that inform parent/guardian about the nature, location, and details of an activity (e.g., field trips, job shadowing). Helpful as a form of protection – well-informed parents/guardians may not be as likely to bring suit.

Indemnification Agreements. Used to shift financial burden for injuries or damages arising from activities from one party to another (e.g., an insurance policy).

Transportation

Insurance liability issues arise in work site learning activities because students are required to leave school premises in order to continue learning at the workplace. In general, the party responsible for transportation is also liable in the case of an accident. If the school is transporting the student, the school transportation policies apply. The same is true if an employer, parent, or teacher provides transportation.

In the case of a student driving him/herself to the workplace during the school day, there should be no difference from liability issues for students getting to school or an extra-curricular activity. When students drive personal vehicles, conditions of transportation should be defined. Typically, conditions include verification of student driver’s license and insurance coverage, limiting transportation to student driver (no passengers); and limiting transportation for the sole purpose of getting to and from the work site.

Health/Safety

Health and safety issues affect the planning of WBL opportunities for minors under the age of 18. Check with your local or state Health Department and state Department of Labor regarding the health and safety requirements in your area.

Medical

Immunizations and protection from disease are important for your students and the people they are in contact with during their work experience. Health and safety measures in some occupations may require that students have up-to-date immunizations. Check with local agencies to determine who pays for the cost of these tests.

Safety Instruction

A written student training plan is recommended that includes a checklist of the safety instruction to be provided and by whom. At the work site, students must follow the same health and safety rules governing regular employees.

Federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

The FLSA was passed in 1938 and is a federal law enforced by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division. It covers employees who work for any one type of enterprise that is either:

  • engaged in interstate commerce.
  • producing goods for interstate commerce.
  • handling, selling, or otherwise working on goods or materials that have been moved or produced for interstate commerce

FLSA applies to all fifty states, ninety percent of nonagricultural businesses, all businesses with annual gross sales of >$500,000 and all hospitals, schools, and public agencies. It applies only when an employment relationship exists. There are NO waivers to the FLSA. The two major components of the FLSA are the Wage and Hour Law and the Child Labor Laws.

FLSA… Wage and Hour Law

Employers covered by FLSA must comply with the act if an employment relationship exists. The FLSA does not apply if work is done in the course of training rather than employment. Most WBL experiences are paid and covered by the Federal FLSA or state labor laws; however, unpaid WBL is possible.

PAID Learning Experiences

If a student does not meet the FLSA criteria for unpaid wage status, they must be paid at least the Federal minimum wage.

Minimum Wage. Effective in January 1, 2016, Nebraska’s minimum hourly wage for non-tipped workers is $9.00.  Overtime must be paid at the rate of 1.5 times the regular pay for each hour worked in excess of 40 hours per week.  A Training Wage of 75% of the federal minimum wage may be paid to new employees under age 20 for the first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment Upon approval by the Commissioner of Labor, employers may pay the training wage rate for an additional 90 days provided the employee is participating in an on-the-job training program.  Student-learners employed in a bona fide vocational training program may be paid special hourly rates of no less than 75% of the above applicable rates.

Tip Credit. Tipped employees (e.g., waiters and waitresses) must be paid at least $2.13 an hour, and receive at least the minimum wage per hour when combined with an employee’s tips. If the combined minimum wages and tips do not equal the minimum hourly wage, the employer must make up the difference.

UNPAID Learning Experiences

The following classifications of unpaid work experiences are not considered “employees” under the FLSA:

Student Learners. A student enrolled in a learning experience would not be considered an employee within the meaning of the FLSA, if ALL of the following six criteria are met: (1) training is progressive, (2) experience is for the benefit of trainee, (3) no displacement of regular employees, (4) no direct benefits to employer, (5) no job entitlement, and (6) no wage entitlement.

Volunteers. True volunteers are not likely to be considered to have an employment relationship provided they are treated as volunteers and not as employees. Although they are not paid, expense reimbursement is permitted. Generally, a worker cannot volunteer to do the same job he/she is paid to do.

Volunteers with an IEP. To help students with disabilities transition from school to employment, they may participate in unpaid learning experiences under the following conditions: (1) student is placed according to his/her IEP, (2) the time per week at work site is limited by the IEP, (3) student supervised by school or business, (4) no displacement of regular employees, (5) no direct benefits to employer, and (6) no job entitlement.

Students with Disabilities

Working with Youth with Disabilities or Who Receive Special Education Services

Successful completion of high school is critical to success after high school. School districts are required to provide transition services for students with disabilities in order to improve post-school outcomes of employment, education and independent living. 

The successful transition of youth with disabilities from school to employment, education/training and independent living is a focal point of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and a policy incentive within the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). (IDEA) Often youth with disabilities face unique challenges that must be addressed in order to reach their post-school goals of postsecondary education, employment and independent living. By age 16, a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) must include transition services which will assist the student in reaching his/her post-secondary goals. 

Transition services are a coordinated set of activities whose outcome is to design a process that promotes movement from school to post-school activities.  Some students remain in high school until they are 21 years old. Since most high school students typically graduate at 17 or 18 and go onto higher education or employment, students with disabilities who remain in high school until the age of 21 have fewer opportunities to interact with same-age peers without disabilities.  The transition services should be developed to increase the opportunity to interact with same-age peers in age–appropriate settings and provide opportunities for students to gain independent living skills, social skills, employment, and self-advocacy in real-life settings and to participate in age-appropriate activities in their communities.   These services ideally are located outside of the high school in community settings which may include the development of integrated and supported employment.  A student’s specific needs, based on preferences and interests, define the services that can be included in the transition plan.

Youth with disabilities must be able to access work experience activities. These experiences focus on assisting student develop broad, transferable skills for postsecondary education and the workplace.  A quality workplace experiences program can make school-based learning more relevant by providing students with the opportunity to apply knowledge and skills learned in the classroom to real world situations.

Work-based Learning (WBL) is supported in the school and at the work- site.  While school-based learning focuses on academic, career readiness and technical preparation as a part of the classroom curriculum, work site learning occurs away from school in a business or community organization. The IEP team evaluates the employment needs of a student and then documents the activities and/or goals for the student in the Individualized Education Program.  The IEP team may also identify supports available from non-educational agencies to assist the student in meeting the IEP goal of employment.

The WBL coordinator may be involved in the transition planning of youth with disabilities.  This occurs through attending meetings and working with the IEP team.  Once the needs, activities, and goals of the student have been identified, the role of the WBL coordinator is to develop a work-based learning skills plan, identify possible worksites, and develop and coordinate the placement and worksite activities of the student.  Collaboration is the key to providing youth with disabilities the best and most appropriate WBL experiences.

Employment Resources and Incentives for Youth Who Receive Special Education Services

Through the collaborative efforts of several agencies throughout Nebraska, youth with disabilities have opportunities to become employed adults within the communities in which they live. 

VR LOGO original copy.png

Nebraska VR

Nebraska VR is an employment program for people who experience a disability. Everything Nebraska VR does and all of the services provided are for the purpose of helping people with disabilities prepare for, find, and/or keep a job. The program is voluntary and the services provided will be specific to the individual’s needs. Nebraska VR will work with the individual as long as he/he needs help to find a job. Nebraska VR serves all disability groups with the exception of those who are blind or visually impaired. These individuals are served by the Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Nebraska VR provides individualized services. Once the individual has been determined eligible for Nebraska VR services a counselor will help develop an individualized plan for employment or IPE.

In Nebraska every high school has an assigned Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) counselor who can help students who have an identified disability to gain skills, find a job and start a career.  They work with school staff to assess interests and strengths, explore careers and post-secondary training options, among many other individualized services.

 

Project SEARCH

Project SEARCH is a partnership between Nebraska VR, a business, area school systems, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired, Assistive Technology Partnership, and Division of Developmental Disabilities. This one-year school-to-work program is business-led and takes place entirely in the workplace. The experience includes a combination of classroom instruction, career exploration, and hands-on training through worksite rotations.

Helping Students Develop Competitive Employment Skills

Project SEARCH is a high school transition program that provides training and education intended to lead to employment for individuals with disabilities. Students who have completed their academic requirements may apply if they are in their last year of high school. Each interested student is required to make a formal application to the program and to interview with a selection committee. Students are selected through a rating process by a committee consisting of representatives of a school, Nebraska VR, and the Project SEARCH host business. All students must be eligible for services with Nebraska VR.

Seriously Unique High School Transition Program

The program provides real-life work experience to help youth with significant disabilities make successful transitions from school to adult life. Each student participates in three 10-week internships during the school year. In each rotation the student learns job-specific skills while having the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. Monthly progress meetings are held to help students define their career goal and to plan necessary steps to achieve that goal.

Program Model

Project SEARCH is an international trademarked and copyrighted program model, which focuses solely on employment for Project SEARCH interns.

The cornerstone of Project SEARCH is total workplace immersion in a large business. For five days a week students report to the host business, learn employability skills in the classroom, and job skills while participating in a variety of work experiences. Managers at the internship sites work with the Project SEARCH staff to support the students during the day. Students get continuous feedback from the internship manager, co-workers, and Project SEARCH staff. A certified special education teacher and job coaches work with both the students and the business staff. Students end their day by reflection, problem solving, planning, and journaling key learning points. The goal upon program completion and graduation is to utilize skills acquired during the internship for gainful employment.

Want more information?

VISIT the VR Website

EMAIL the Marketing Team at Nebraska VR

EXPLORE Project Search Contacts

new 400 cuts (4).png

Easter Seals of Nebraska

Easter Seals of Nebraska provides programs and services for employment and training, assistive technology and job accommodations, medical rehabilitation, camping and recreation. Easter Seals Nebraska’s Benefits Specialists help their customers develop an individualized plan to reach self-sufficiency through full use of state and federal work incentive programs.  Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries, Nebraskans served by the state vocational rehabilitation program and young adults with disabilities who are transitioning from school into the workforce all benefit from these Easter Seals services.

06 4x2.png

Job Corps

Job Corps is a free education and training program that helps young people learn a career, earn a high school diploma or GED, and find a good job and maintain employment. For eligible young people at least 16 years of age that qualify as low income, Job Corps provides the all-around skills needed to succeed in a career and in life. Nebraska students may qualify at the Nebraska or Iowa locations.

 

Nebraska Ticket to Work

Ticket to Work connects individuals with free employment services to help decide if working is right for the individual and to prepare for work, find a job or maintain success while working. If the individual chooses to participate, services will be provided such as career counseling, vocational rehabilitation, and job placement and training from authorized Ticket to Work service providers, such as Employment Networks (EN) or the State Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) agency. The service provider chosen will serve as an important part of an “employment team” that will help on the journey to financial independence.

Everyone age 18 through 64 who receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and/or Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits because of his or her disability is eligible to participate in the Ticket to Work program. Participation in the Ticket to Work program is free and voluntary.

VISIT the Website

 
goodwill1.png

Goodwill Industries, Inc.

Goodwill helps people with disabilities or barriers grow into more independent lives with effective programs that assist with employment and life skills, recovery, healthy lifestyle, finding and keeping good jobs, and securing safe and affordable housing.

VODEC

Private nonprofit corporation providing employment, residential and day habilitation services for individual with intellectual disabilities.

deaf1.png

Nebraska Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (NCDHH)

Promotes and advocates for individuals who are deaf, deaf-blind, or hard of hearing to achieve equality and opportunity in social, education, vocations, and legal aspects impacting their daily lives; enhance and monitor access to effective communication and tele-communication technology.

Nebraska Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired

Nebraska State Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired is an employment resource to get assistance in adult and work life.  If a visual disability makes it hard to find a job, get training or achieve personal independence, NCBVI may have services available to assist in meeting adult goals.  Some services include adjustment to blindness, counseling, job seeking and keeping assistance, vocational training, telecommunication and sensory aids and low vision services. 

Social Security Administration, Supplemental Security Income

Another important participating agency is the U.S. Social Security Administration.  This agency administers a cash assistance program known as Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is based on a disability and financial need.   Students receiving SSI benefits are eligible for SSI Work Incentive Programs.  These programs allow students to participate in paid employment while maintaining their SSI Benefits.  Through the use of Work Incentives a student can:

  • Engage in paid employment.
  • Increase income without loss of cash benefits or eligibility for other benefits such as Medicaid.
  • Offset expenses incurred as a result of their work.
  • Save for further postsecondary education and training or to start a business.

SSI Work Incentives available to students with disabilities may include: Earned Income Exclusion, Student Earned Income Exclusion, Impairment-Related Work Expense, Plan for Achieving Self-Support, and Blind Work Experience.  Through the use of accommodations, technology, training, and support, many work goals for youth with disabilities can be reached that may not have been possible in the past.

Terminology

ALL ASPECTS OF THE INDUSTRY

Whenever possible, workplace experiences learning opportunities for students should include instruction and experience in all aspects of the industry being explored. This is important to ensure that career and technical education teaches more than the skills needed for specific entry-level jobs. The following knowledge and skills are important components of studying all aspects of the industry:

  • Planning
  • Management
  • Finance
  • Technical and production skills
  • Underlying principles of technology
  • Labor issues
  • Community issues
  • Health, safety, and environmental issues
  • Personal Work Habits

Education and Training Experience

Students interested in pursuing careers in the education field are assigned various levels of experience ranging from early childhood to high school in which they fully participate in teaching and related work.  Must be conducted in partnership with course work and supervised by the education and training instructor.

Entrepreneurship

Individual youth entrepreneurship provides an opportunity for a student to establish a business from the initial startup phase through full operation while receiving guidance from a teacher at the school. This activity is considered a paid experience because the student who actually starts a business will be receiving income from the sale of a product or providing a service. Students assume the risks of creating the entrepreneurial venture in expectation of gaining a profit or further knowledge and skills necessary for success as an entrepreneur. Entrepreneurship may be undertaken on or off the school site, but should be part of the school’s course work in order to be considered for academic credit.

Job Rotation

A periodic transfer through a wide variety of positions and tasks requiring different skills and responsibilities.

Job Shadowing

A career exploration activity for late middle school or early high school where the student follows the employee at a firm for one or more days to learn about an occupation or industry.

Industry Recognized Credential (IRC)

An industry recognized credential certifies the holder has demonstrated mastery of a core set of content and performance standards related to a specific occupational cluster.

Nebraska Career Education Model

Career education in Nebraska follows a state model for the delivery of instructional material and for career advisement. The Nebraska Career Education Model follows the national 16 career clusters and breaks them into six career fields.

Nontraditional Occupation

non-traditional occupation (NTO) is defined as any occupation in which women or men comprise less than 25% of the workforce.

On-the-Job-Training

Hands-on training in an occupational skill in the work-based curriculum.

Portfolio

A collection of work documenting a student’s educational performance.

Private Career Schools

Sometimes called proprietary schools, operated under private control, independently owned and operated; usually designed around a specific career cluster.

Service Learning

An instructional method combining community service and academic/technical learning.

Skill

A combination of perceptual, motor, manual, intellectual social abilities. The nature of tasks usually requires a combination of these and usually also requires the application of cognitive and psychomotor functions together with appropriate knowledge. Skill is cumulative (it is built up gradually with repeated practice), and sequential (each part is dependent on the previous part and influences the next).

Skill Standard

The identification of the knowledge, skill and level of ability needed to satisfactorily perform a given job. These standards may be specific to a given occupation, cross occupational lines or apply to groupings of occupations. This concept of skill standards can be tailored to any industry to reflect its particular needs and economic environment. Read more HERE.

Special Populations

Individuals with disabilities, individuals from economically disadvantaged families (including foster children), individuals preparing for nontraditional training and employment, single parents (including single pregnant women), displaced homemakers and individuals with other barriers to educational achievement (including individuals with limited English proficiency).

Work-Based Learning Coordinator

An individual to oversee components of a work based learning system including school based learning, work based learning and connecting activities.

Workplace Supervisor

Workplace Supervisor is an employer or designated employee at a workplace who directs the student in mastery of employment skills.

 

All Students

The term “all students” means both male and female students from a broad background including disadvantaged, diverse racial, ethnic or cultural backgrounds, disabled, limited English proficiency, migrant children, school dropouts, and academically talented students.

Apprenticeship (Registered)

Registered apprenticeship programs meet federally approved standards designed to provide on-the-job training while safeguarding the welfare of apprentices

Apprenticeship (Pre)

A educational program conducted by a high school for 11th and 12th grade students in association with a registered apprenticeship. Pre-apprenticeship programs help prepare students for a registered apprenticeship program.

Assessment

The process of measuring performance against a set of standards (through examination, practical tests, performance observation and/or the completion of portfolios of work and assignments).

Career Academy

A school-within-a-school that offers students’ academic and career education programs organized around career themes.

Career and Technical Education (CTE)

Organized educational programs, services, and activities directly related to preparation of students for a career.

Career Development Continuum

The Nebraska Career Development Continuum is composed of three stages:

Career Awareness focuses on group activities that help students develop a general awareness of themselves, the world of work and its connection to education. Activities are generally instituted in the elementary grades.

Career Exploration activities provide an opportunity for individual examination of career options that match a student’s interests and aptitudes. They provide an opportunity for students to learn about what people do for a living and to observe and interact with work based staff to learn more about the demands of the work place.

Career Preparation activities that integrate academic and occupational skills learned in the classroom with skills learned on the job prepare students for transitioning from school to a career. Emphasis is on skill building, understanding the concept of transferable skills, learning to work as a team member, establishing relationships, ethics and honesty, and relating personal interests and abilities to real world career opportunities. Many students also select a career interest or focus during this stage.

Career Education

Nebraska’s Career Education System is comprised of all aspects of career development and preparation. The system includes the following components:

  • Career and Technical Education programs of study and courses
  • Career Technical Student Organizations
  • Career Readiness Skills
  • Workplace Experiences
  • Career guidance including career exploration activities
  • Extended learning opportunities

Career Fair

An activity designed to help students think about their interest and abilities in relation to potential careers by exposure to people directly involved in the career.

Career Guidance & Counseling

Programs that provide students with experiences in the Nebraska Career Development Model including career awareness, career planning, career preparation.

Competency

Indicates the ability to perform the activities within an occupation to the set standard. It may incorporate the ability to apply the relevant skills and knowledge to new situations within the occupational area as well as generic skills.

Consortium

A group of schools and/or agencies that enter into a cooperative agreement to share information or provide services that benefit students.

Cooperative Education

A structured method of instruction allowing students to attend school and work in a career related field while earning credit for both.

Dual-Credit

Dual-credit courses are college courses offered to high school students for both high school and college credit.

Curriculum Integration

A method of teaching academic and career and technical occupational subjects showing the relationships among the disciplines.

Curriculum

Examples of Career Education curriculum developed by the Nebraska Department of Education include:

Career Readiness Modules © 2012

These modules can be used to supplement a career education course. The modules help users improve basic skills for job readiness. There are 11 modules and a resource section in the series:

  • Module 1 – Seeking Employment
  • Module 2 – Workplace Success
  • Module 3 – Communication
  • Module 4 – Presentations
  • Module 5 – Conflict Resolution
  • Module 6 – Decision Making
  • Module 7 – Teamwork and Leadership
  • Module 8 – Workplace Ethics
  • Module 9 – Social and Cultural Awareness
  • Module 10 – Financial Wellbeing
  • Module 11 – Personal Wellbeing
  • Resources and References, Contacts and Site Credits

The modules were developed collaboratively by the Nebraska Departments of Labor and Education and produced by NET Interactive and Education Media through a Workforce Investment Act (WIA) Incentive grant.

Click HERE to learn more.

Engage! Career Exploration and Readiness ©2015

Engage! Career Exploration and Readiness is a project based course designed to help middle school students explore career options using the Nebraska Career Education Model and understand the Nebraska Career Readiness Standards. The course is organized by three themes:  Making it My Choice, A World of Options and Charting a Direction.

All themes culminate with individual and group projects. Students will define career options, describe examples of career readiness, utilize self-assessment to better understand interests, establish a career portfolio and create a personal learning plan to provide direction to high school and post-high school activities. This course is aligned to the American School Counselor Association Standards for Students and integrates EducationQuest tools and resources for middle school students.

Recommended Level: Grades 7-8

Nebraska Department of Education Course Code:  320300

The Engage curriculum is available HERE and can be accessed after receiving training on the curriculum. Contact the Nebraska Department of Education for future training dates.

 
Habitudes for Career Ready Students – Nebraska Department of Education

Habitudes for Career Ready Students contains eleven chapters, one for each of the eleven Nebraska Career Readiness Standards. Each chapter teaches one of the Nebraska Career Readiness Standards through an image and story that leads to small group conversations and an interactive learning experience. The content can be taught through a traditional course or integrated in several courses.

The Habitudes for Career Ready Students books and curriculum are available from the Nebraska Department of Education. Training is required to receive the curriculum. NDE has also developed a train-the-trainer experience for schools or Educational Service Units that wish to conduct their own teacher trainings.

Resources and information on training is available HERE.

Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success ©2012

This curriculum was developed by the Office of Disability Employment policy (ODEP) and is focused on teaching career readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities. Created for youth development professionals as an introduction to workplace interpersonal and professional skills, the curriculum is targeted for youth ages 14-21 in both in school and out of school environments. The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular activities that focus on six key skill areas; communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking and professionalism. It is a hands-on curriculum with engaging activities and fun games. The curriculum can be used to supplement existing soft skills exercises or used on its own.

The entire curriculum (PDF) can be downloaded free and the Soft Skills video series can be accessed HERE.

Career And Technical Student Organizations (CTSOs)

Career and Technical Student organizations offer an array of experiences that expand learning opportunities beyond the classroom and facilitate students’ engagement in building career readiness and technical skills.  CTSOs are an integral part of classroom instruction; applying classroom learning to real-world experiences.  CTSOs are not “clubs” but are integral to career and technical courses and programs of study.

Benefits of CTSOs to Business and Industry:

  • Expanded understanding by students and educators of the career opportunities available in the local community, area and state
  • Access to students with a focus on career preparation and skill development and the potential to be world-class employees
  • Opportunities to share expertise and resources with the local school district

Benefits of CTSOs to Students:

  • Application of academic and technical knowledge and skills to real-life work settings
  • Development of leadership and teamwork skills
  • Enhancement of critical thinking and decision-making skills
  • Career awareness
  • Exposure to local, state, national and global opportunities, which enhance cultural competence

Career-related student competitions are activities that require students to demonstrate mastery of career-related skills through instructionally based competitive events. For more information about Nebraska CTSOs, visit the NEBRASKA CAREER EDUCATION HOME PAGE.

 

Nebraska Career and Technical Student Organizations include:

DECA is organized around an ambitious goal: to improve education and career opportunities for students interested in careers in marketing, management and entrepreneurship.

EDUCATORS RISING works with high school students to provide passionate young people with hands-on teaching experience, sustain their interest in the profession, and help them cultivate the skills they need to be successful educators. The result is a pipeline of accomplished teachers who are positioned to make a lasting difference — not only in the lives of their students, but also in the field of teaching more broadly.

03 fbla.png

 

FUTURE BUSINESS LEADERS OF AMERICA (FBLA) provides innovative leadership and career development programs for students interested in business administration, management, finance and information technology careers.

FAMILY, CAREER AND COMMUNITY LEADERS OF AMERICA (FCCLA) is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders; address personal, family, work and societal issues through Family and Consumer Sciences Education. 

FFA is a national organization for students preparing for careers in the agriculture, food and natural resource industries. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education. FFA is a national organization for students preparing for careers in the agriculture, food and natural resource industries. FFA makes a positive difference in the lives of students by developing their potential for premier leadership, personal growth and career success through agricultural education.

HOSA – Future Health Professionals is a national student organization that prepares health science students for careers as health professionals by developing leadership, compassion, character, and well-being.

07 skills.png

 

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce. SkillsUSA helps each student excel.

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards

A career ready person capitalizes on personal strengths, talents, education and experiences to bring value to the workplace and the community through his/her performance, skill, diligence, ethics and responsible behavior.
Definition of career readiness adopted by the Nebraska State Board of Education on May 5, 2010.

Overview

The common refrain heard from employers is the need for employability/soft skills.  In Nebraska, these skills are called Career Readiness Skills. Because of this, Nebraska Career Education hosted a Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness in November 2009.  Key stakeholders and thought leaders from business/industry, education (K-16), non-profit organizations and local and state government were invited to attend.  The Nebraska Standards for Career Ready Practice are an outgrowth of the Nebraska Summit on Career Readiness.

The Nebraska Career Readiness Standards describe varieties of expertise that educators at all levels should seek to develop in their students. These standards rest on important “practices and proficiencies” with long-standing importance in career education.

Career readiness skills development is the foundation of all workplace experiences.  Through the continuum, career readiness is identified, developed, demonstrated. 

Work Awareness Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Identified

Work Exploration Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Developed

Work-Based Learning Strategies – Career Readiness Skills Demonstrated

These standards and related practices are not limited to formal CTE programs nor to the middle school or high school level. Rather, these standards should be used over and over again with increasing complexity and relevance by students as they progress through their educational pathway. The standards themselves do not dictate curriculum, pedagogy or delivery of content. Schools and colleges may handle the teaching and assessing of these standards in many different ways.

A number of resources have been created for Nebraska educators to use in creating career readiness curriculum and experiences.  These resources can be found HERE.

The Nebraska Career Readiness Standards are:

  1. Applies appropriate academic and technical skills
  2. Communicates effectively and appropriately
  3. Contributes to employer and community success
  4. Makes sense of problems and perseveres in solving them
  5. Uses critical thinking
  6. Demonstrates innovation and creativity
  7. Models ethical leadership and effective management
  8. Works productively in teams and demonstrates cultural competency
  9. Utilizes technology
  10. Manages personal career development
  11. Attends to personal and financial well-being

Career Readiness Toolkit

A toolkit of Career Readiness resources has been developed by the Nebraska Department of Education to support and enhance the classroom connection.  These resources include:

NEW! “Why Career Readiness?” Lesson Plan

Habitudes for Career Ready Students Webpage

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards 

Alignment: Nebraska Career Readiness Standards 

Poster (17×22): Nebraska Career Readiness Standards

Nebraska Career Readiness Standards Checklist

NEW! VIDEO: Reality Check: Guiding Your Children to Career Success (HD) / (Mobile) / (SD)

NEW! Reality Check: Guiding Your Children to Career Success (Parent Flyer PDF)

Building the Classroom Connection

A well-structured classroom orientation lays the groundwork for a successful workplace learning experience. Students are prepared for learning in the workplace by helping them assess their own interests and skills, learn about what to expect at the workplace and build an understanding of the various aspects of the industry they’ll be visiting or in which they will be employed.  Activities outlined in this guide support specific types of workplace experiences. They may be adaptable for a variety of workplace learning experiences.

All Aspects of an Industry

The All Aspects of an Industry framework integrates academic and career and technical education and emphasizes broad, transferable knowledge of the workplace rather than job- specific skills. Analyzing and solving the problems facing an industry and the enterprises within it draws upon the student’s basic and advanced skills and knowledge. A key component of quality career and technical education courses and programs of study is to incorporate all aspects of an industry into the curriculum and workplace experiences.

All Aspects of an Industry identifies nine aspects that are common to any enterprise. Students should gain experience and understanding of the following concepts:

  1. Planning: How an organization plans (include goals and objectives); type of ownership (public/private); relationship of the organization to economic, political, and social contexts; assessment of needs.
  2. Management: Structure and process for effectively accomplishing the goals and operations of the organization using facilities, staff, resources, equipment, and materials.
  3. Finance: Accounting and financial decision-making process, method of acquiring capital to operate, management of financial operations including payroll.
  4. Technical and Production Skills: Basic skills in math, communications, computer, time management, and thinking; specific skills for production; interpersonal skills within the organization.
  5. Principles of Technology: Technological systems being used in the workplace and their contributions to the product or service of the organization.
  6. Labor Issues: Rights of employees and related issues; wage, benefits, and working conditions.
  7. Community Issues: Impact of the company on the community, impact of the community on the organization.
  8. Health, Safety, and Environment: Practices and laws affecting the employee, the surrounding community, and the environment.
  9. Personal Work Habits: Non-technical skills and characteristics expected in the workplace.

Prepare Students to Maximize Learning

Helping students develop a context for the workplace maximizes their learning once they engaged in a workplace experience.  There are several ways to do this.

  • Discuss expectations for the experience and what the students may learn beforehand.
  • Discuss behavioral expectations that will allow students to make the most out of the activity.
  • Discuss what students know about the company and how the industry impacts them.
  • Support students in research of the company and the industry so that they can ask meaningful questions during the workplace experience.
  • Have students prepare questions and individual learning objectives that they would like to accomplish during the workplace experience.
  • Also, introduce frameworks and materials that will help organize what they learn at the workplace. These frameworks include the Nebraska Standards for Career Readiness and All Aspects of an Industry.

Assessing Quality Of Workplace Experiences

Nebraska Career and Technical Education must infuse workplace experiences that are relevant to the instruction as a part of each CTE course.  The measurement of the quality and impact of those experience is challenging but critically important. This measurement must be grounded in student learning outcomes.

Factors to consider in quality assessment are:

  • Workplace experiences are a part of a sequential program that builds through Nebraska’s workplace experiences continuum to provide students with meaningful career development opportunities.
  • Workplace experiences are based on student outcomes leading to career preparation and not simply a collection of activities.
  • Workplace experiences are fully integrated into the instructional program, not an add-on or extra credit activity.
  • Workplace experiences must be focused on preparation for a career area and not be narrow or limited to a job or a specific set of skills to help students understand all aspects of an industry.
  • Workplace experiences are driven by quality criteria designed to meet the needs of the individual student rather than focused on schedule, class projects or number of students participating.
  • Workplace experiences are documented using a student portfolio or other approach to identify student growth and achievement.

Benefits of Workplace Experience Learning

Strong workplace experience programs provide clear benefits to invested stakeholders.

Nebraska can:

  • Retain existing employers by offering a continuous pool of highly qualified candidates; and
  • Provide a qualified workforce to grow the economy and recruit employers and jobs to the state.

Students who participate in quality workplace experiences can:

  • Set and pursue career, educational and personal goals;
  • Understand the connection between school and their postsecondary and career goals;
  • Model mature professional behaviors and rise to the expectations of employers while demonstrating good work habits;
  • Develop leadership skills and a sense of responsibility;
  • Solve problems cooperatively and creatively;
  • Build social networks that will support learning and expand future opportunities; and
  • Access opportunities for economic prosperity to support themselves and their families.

Employers and Community Organizations that assist with students’ workplace experiences can:

  • Shape a pipeline of knowledgeable, motivated talent;
  • Increase brand awareness and loyalty;
  • Prescreen potential employees and broaden their community impact and contribution;
  • Give back to the community and support strong learning experiences for students; and
  • Provide students with exposure to opportunities outside their immediate environments.

Employers and Community Organizations that assist with students’ workplace experiences can:

  • Shape a pipeline of knowledgeable, motivated talent;
  • Increase brand awareness and loyalty;
  • Prescreen potential employees and broaden their community impact and contribution;
  • Give back to the community and support strong learning experiences for students; and
  • Provide students with exposure to opportunities outside their immediate environments.

Schools that effectively integrate workplace experiences into students’ programs of study:

  • Incorporate career training techniques used in businesses;
  • Develop ongoing relationships with the business community;
  • Adapt rapidly to industry trends and workplace expectations;
  • Increase the number of workplace opportunities available to all students;
  • Create a sequenced plan for workplace experiences that build upon each other to foster career awareness, exploration and preparation; and
  • Promote skills that support students’ attainment of the Nebraska Career Readiness Standards and CTE Program of Study/Course standards.

Schools that effectively integrate workplace experiences into students’ programs of study:

  • Incorporate career training techniques used in businesses;
  • Develop ongoing relationships with the business community;
  • Adapt rapidly to industry trends and workplace expectations;
  • Increase the number of workplace opportunities available to all students;
  • Create a sequenced plan for workplace experiences that build upon each other to foster career awareness, exploration and preparation; and
  • Promote skills that support students’ attainment of the Nebraska Career Readiness Standards and CTE Program of Study/Course standards.
 
 
 
Go to Top