WIOA In School Youth Program: COOL (Careers of Our Lives) Directions:

EASTCONN, in collaboration with New London Youth Affairs and Norwich Human Services engage and prepare in-school youth from the Windham, Danielson, Norwich and New London area (aged 16-19, a high school junior or senior who meet the WOIA eligibility guidelines and have barriers to employment). The program provides a continuum of services using a case management model within a pipeline structure identifying career pathways for the delivery of year-round services. The premise of this program is linked to keeping the participant in school while providing direction and focus toward the world of education and work after high school graduation. Due to the individualization of the program, the year-round component of the program includes, but is not limited to:

  • Academic Support, Career Assessment and Transition Planning
  • Career exploration and labor market information in the form of career inventories, field trips and job shadowing, to explore emerging industry fields along with visits to colleges, technical schools and businesses to promote further education
  • Job placement/internship/work based learning opportunities,
  • Portfolios documenting all components of the COOL Directions Pipeline program
  • Financial Literacy, Basic Skills in Reading and Math and Life Skills Training
  • Youth Mentorship with a caring adult
  • Leadership and team building skill development

An integral component of the COOL Directions program is the paid internship experience. The internship portion of the program is a continuation of year-round activities and allows the participant to put into practice his/her year-long learning specific to a pipeline. Participants will apply and be interviewed for individualized work site internships (up to 25 hours per week during the summer and between 6-15 hours per week during the school year) that are related to the youth’s career ladder/pipeline interests, and foster growth in work readiness skill development.


Cyndi Wells, In School Youth Coordinator, EASTCONN, cwells@eastconn.org