Taunton Area School to Career, or TASC, is a Business and Education Partnership, connecting Taunton area employers and local school systems. Current Partnership Schools are Bristol County Agricultural High School, Taunton High School and Taunton Alternative High School. We serve at-risk and other students, offering often life-changing Career Development Education (CDE) opportunities. After being a distinct non-profit for 20 years, TASC became a program of Associates for Human Services in 2016 and is stronger and more focused than ever, still passionate and committed to its mission of “Empowering Youth to Succeed – by Bridging Business and Education to Improve Tomorrow’s Workforce.”
TASC strives to deliver high quality experiences that link the classroom and the world of work, career and life; build student skills and career awareness; and respond to the emerging needs of employers.
Work experiences, like part-time jobs as well as paid and unpaid internships, are great ways to educate youth on “career development.” They help youth apply basic skills and knowledge to a real work setting; develop broad, transferable workplace competencies; and promote understanding of workplace culture. They may also get students to appreciate and improve classroom learning. Some internships combine school-based learning with work-based application.
YouthWorks is a work-based learning and training program that provides subsidized jobs each summer to Taunton youth, with TASC engaging private, public, and non-profit worksites. It is funded through the MA Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development; administered by The Commonwealth Corporation, and implemented collaboratively with the Bristol Workforce Investment Board and Taunton Career Center. Project Intern, at Bristol Aggie, offers unpaid internships usually during the school’s third term. Work Study Program, at Taunton Alternative High, lets students obtain high school credits towards graduation requirements while working their part-time jobs.
Career Mentoring is our signature partnership service, matching volunteer, local business professionals with students on a one-to-one basis. Once matched, the mentor and his/her mentee meet about twice a month to explore education and career options and learn essential work skills. They tour area businesses, organizations, colleges, and trade schools – all arranged by TASC. They also have individual meetings, focused on meeting the needs and goals of the mentee. Career Mentors build a relationship and have an opportunity to “make a difference,” and possibly a life-altering one, in the life of a local young person.
“College & Career Readiness” is another way of describing what we do. Some of TASC’s activities include: Helping students with resumes, job interviewing and job searches, providing work-readiness training, and assisting with online career sites; Bringing business professionals as career speakers and workshop presenters, into classrooms as well as for special school events, including topics such as financial literacy; Arranging field trips and tours at local colleges and businesses for students to get an in-person look; Providing intensive services to a small group of especially at-risk youth in jeopardy of not graduating with their peers; Finding and offering job shadow opportunities that let students spend several hours at a workplace observing and employee during the work day; Organizing, and assisting schools with, different types of Career Days and Job Fairs which expose students to many career pathways, explore potential interests, and meet workers from different industries; Implementing and coordinating a mostly after-school “Bridge To STEM Employment” (or BTSE) program for roughly 30 Taunton High students, who are involved from sophomore thru senior year. We also help students with individual career plans and skills portfolios, student success action plans, and similar goal development and planning tools.
TASC’s services and programs fall within the realm of “career development education” and the MA Dept. of Early & Secondary Education (DESE), and its broadly descriptive areas of career awareness, career exploration, and career immersion. TASC obtains funding from DESE “School To Career Connecting Activities”, via the Bristol WIB.