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CIP Long Beach Students on the Path to Careers


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Fall 2016 was a truly exciting term for the careers team, led by our new Career Coordinator, Jocelyn Howard. 

Finding a Career Path

Our students were active in learning the foundations of embarking on their individual career paths. With a new positive energy and exciting team, our students are not only learning the process in career mapping, but are enjoying actively participating in developing their unique job paths. Our talented job coaches have supported students with a variety of interactive assessments, speech and language development, public transportation travel training, new volunteer sites, guest speakers, hiring events and a plethora of student-driven community service opportunities. Students continue to assess/develop their skillsets and fascinating interests, while others have successfully secured promising internships and paid employment.

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Entry Level Employment

Students are learning the importance of building valuable transferrable skills and being open to entry-level employment as a “magical” door into their future. Speaking of “magical”, student Kevin W., was recently hired as a host/cashier in Goofy’s Kitchen at the Disneyland Resort Hotel in Anaheim, California in the Fall. Kevin is so excited to be working with Disneyland Parks & Resorts and says,

“I am so happy! Once I make it past the probation phase, I can literally apply to other positions within Disney, it’s a company I can grow with!”

He understands that starting in Goofy’s Kitchen will truly open other employment opportunities for him at Disneyland and expressed that this was always a dream of his. Gawrsh!

Creating Opportunities

The approach that our careers team uses as a driving force, teaches students that they truly have the opportunity to create their very own job path and enjoy all that comes with that journey, has really inspired students to get excited about work. Another example would be Parker F., who is an up incoming independent artist. Parker has a true passion and is learning what it takes to become an independent artist in Long Beach. He held his very first Art Show at our Holiday Party and sold 9-10 art pieces.

“I am so happy! I can finally show the world what I am made of and become a real artist!"

He is currently preparing to be apart of the Long Beach Downtown Art Walk in the spring, where he can promote his art collection and share his talent with others.

New Partnerships

Our team worked diligently this fall to create new employment/community partnerships within Long Beach.

  • In the Fall we began working with companies like CVS Pharmacy, Staples, Marshalls and Ross. With 5 students at CVS now and others beginning the process at the other stores, there are real viable retail and pharmacy employment opportunities for students to look forward to now.
  • Some other community partnerships to name would include the Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach Public Library and Container Recycling Institute (CRI).
  • In October, we celebrated Disability Awareness Month and partnered with the City of Long Beach. We were able to provide students the “behind-scenes” opportunity to shadow a city official within City Hall. In fact, the City of Long Beach Mayor, Robert Garcia, recently provided a proclamation to CIP Long Beach in celebration of our 5 year anniversary in supporting our students.

Community Gardening and Other Initiatives

Our careers team also has taken community gardening to the next level with a new partnership with the Long Beach VA Hospital, where students can work alongside other interns from various community-based programs in the VA Patient Garden.

Lastly, the careers team ended the year helping to facilitate the curriculum and company tours for Winter MPLOY, which would include Disneyland Parks and Resorts, Grammy Museum at L.A. Live, Roscoe's House of Chicken & Waffles, and the Long Beach Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse to name a few. With all this said, the careers team is excited to see what the Spring has in store.


About the Author

Jocelyn Howard is the Career Coordinator at CIP Long Beach. She has spent 14 years as an educator of various topics including: interpersonal communication, vocational training, job development, job coaching, community integration, professional boundaries, independent living skills, health, and nutrition. All of which has taught her the importance of creating individualized instruction, training, and intervention to help individuals improve work skills and develop positive work behaviors.