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Career Exploration Partnership


Meet your next generation of employees while they’re still in school.

 WNY STEM’s Career Exploration Partnership gives employers the opportunity to introduce students to the breadth of career pathways. The impact is mutual and powerful: employers cultivate interest in the next generation workforce, while students hear authentic stories from working professionals who can help shape their career aspirations.

Why now?

Research determined that students consider important decisions about their careers between the ages of 12 and 18: this a critical time to influence that choice. Young people are strongly influenced by their immediate environment. There is untapped potential here that can bolster your future workforce and, in turn, contribute to the regional economy.


Progressive businesses capture any targeted opportunity to cultivate tomorrow’s workforce. By identifying skills gaps and anticipating growth or attrition, an employer can create a pipeline now to the next generation workforce.

WNY STEM Hub's Plan 


WNY STEM Hub's three-level partnership is a win-win-win for employers, students, and schools.

  • WNY STEM facilitates all scheduling to meet your mutual needs.

  • WNY STEM provides all print materials to orient both employees and students.

  • Employee time is used efficiently. STEM Cafés are more than one hour.

  • Students are prepared by teachers or guidance counselors for each experience.

  • The program is evaluated for its impact.

Level 1 – STEM Café – Employees spend a lunch hour with between 6 and 12 middle and high school students. The conversation is informal and centers on the employee’s job, career pathway, and education. Students come prepared with questions: employees should be ready to be candid. WNY STEM schedules the cafés, provides suggested marketing materials to schools to encourage attendance, brings a post-café survey, and is on-site for the café. The employer provides the volunteers. The school determines the space (a classroom or office) and selects and prepares the students.

  Level 2 – Job Shadowing – Employees host one or two students in grades 10 or 11 for a four-hour experience. The employee plans the half-day to include a tour of the office/facility, introduction to co-workers, and observation in meetings or other work. Students will be instructed to bring their lunch. WNY STEM facilitates the experience, including follow-up and evaluation. The employer identifies interested employees who are willing and able to allocate the half-day. The school selects and prepares the student, and provides transportation to and from the workplace.

     Level 3 –  Summer Internship – A student may join your team as a volunteer for a short internship to prepare or execute an age-appropriate task or project lasting no more than one week. This is non-compensated work and is arranged by the school’s guidance counselor. WNY STEM facilitates the experience. The employer selects the employee who sets the schedule and identifies the project. The student is responsible for transportation, and meeting the goals of the internship on the determined schedule.


For more information, contact Ms. Simone Ragland at

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