CareerLink provides students occupational opportunities


Pa CareerLink

Pa CareerLink aims to help students find future careers.

Southern Lehigh High School is bringing its students career opportunities through the organization PA CareerLink, a program run by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, providing citizens in Pennsylvania access to career-oriented resources to helping them prepare for the work field and obtain job positions. 

Southern Lehigh has arranged for counselors to meet with students at the high school every Tuesday in the library from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. PA CareerLink also brings its In-School Youth program to the high school where students can attend workshops to learn about career-readiness skills and enroll in paid work experience programs. This program runs through June 10th.

PA CareerLink aims to assist students in numerous ways such as helping them figure out the occupational path they want to pursue. Counselors at the high school can have conversations with students about their ambitions and provide resources such as career researching websites and interest assessments. 

“Sometimes it can be pretty overwhelming and intimidating when you’re approaching the end of your high school career and you’re trying to figure out what direction you want to go in and what career you want to pursue,” PA CareerLink Counselor Angie Vazquez said, “which is why I think there are so many resources that are available, including what we do at CareerLink. We want to be able to help students begin to start looking at what that might look like, start doing some research, and begin to navigate those channels.”

In order to help students align their interests with careers, they can take interest assessments that will give you an idea of the wages available in different parts of the country, the required training for your career of choice, and the job environment attributes you may need. Additionally, career counselors not only offer job field exploration, but they can also find students paid work experience through the organization. 

“The paid work experience is a really great way, especially for our youth programs, for students to gain experience in their interesting career or the industry that they’re looking to get into,” Vazquez said. “This gives them that additional work experience where they’re going to essentially be completing an internship and getting paid at the same time.”

These job experience programs run for about eight weeks and are tailored to fit the participants’ interests. PA CareerLink uses its partners to connect the individual with an employer geared towards the industry of their choice. Counselors walk participants through the process of these experience opportunities by going over their resumes and helping them prepare for the interview.

“That’s one of the great things about CareerLink,” Vazquez said. “We are able to help our participants with additional supportive services.”

The PA CareerLink youth program does not stop at giving  participants opportunities for training, but can also assist them with transportation and childcare to ensure they can finish their programs. Since the youth program at CareerLink can offer these services until participants are 24 years old, they can help students out even after they graduate from high school and college. 

Some students at Southern Lehigh have already taken advantage of this resource, seeking out counselors to improve their resumes and enrolling in the paid work experience program. 

“We would talk about mock interviews, cover letters, resumes, and what-to-say in an interview and what-not-to say,” junior Caidyn Koppenhaver said. 

Caidyn was a participant in the PA CareerLink program. Not only did Caidyn learn about interviewing skills, but after taking psychology at the high school, she got to explore her interest in social work.

 “It is essential to have exposure to careers while still in high school, so that you have a smooth transition to the best post-high school placement based on your interests! In order to decide if you want to go to college, advanced training in the military, or directly work upon graduation, you have to research in advance,” Nancy Dischnat, Executive Director of the Workforce Board Lehigh Valley said.   

If you are interested in meeting with a Career Counselor, you can sign up through a google form on their online flier. Students can find the online form on an email sent out by assistant principal Mr. Benjamin McConnell or contact their guidance counselor to set up an appointment. Many resources can additionally be found on their website,