Pathways to Careers
Discovery → Pathways Internships & Expanded Discovery → Employment


Discovery is the first step on the Pathways to Careers journey. It is participant-centered, and it is the driving force behind informed career choices for Pathways participants. During the Discovery phase, we spend time engaging with and observing Pathways participants in everyday settings. This helps us gain a better understanding of each job seeker's talents, strengths, interests, aspirations and other life skills that make them uniquely qualified to contribute to America’s workforce. 

The Discovery process engages family members, friends, educators, colleagues and others, and with the information gathered, we are able to develop an individualized participant profile. This profile is the foundation for their career plan, which can include a customized internship (potentially leading to employment), customized employment or customized self-employment.

Pathways Internships & Expanded Discovery

Following the Discovery process, job seekers can choose to opt into a paid internship where they can explore their career interests and workplace preferences, identify the conditions that best position them for success, and strengthen their skills. We call this opportunity to gain on-the-job experiences Expanded Discovery. 

These internships, which are typically eight weeks long, provide both the interns and the employer partners with a valuable opportunity to learn about each other. The intern learns about the conditions of employment and the full range of tasks and responsibilities; the employer partner learns about the skills, interests and contributions the participant brings to the job. This creates an ideal environment where both parties can determine if the other is a good fit. Neither the employer nor the intern is obligated to convert the internship into permanent employment.

If a job seeker has expressed an interest in a career goal related to self-employment that they want to explore through a paid internship, Pathways staff work with them to develop internship options that provide the basis for both skill-building and decision making.


If the intern opts for employment at any point during the internship phase, the employer can decide if the intern is a good match. Interns who are offered employment may accept or decline. If the intern does not accept the offer, they can continue as an active Pathways participant so that a better fit for employment is identified. 

If a job seeker wants to transition directly to employment rather than opt for an internship first, Pathways staff work to develop a customized job opportunity based on what was decided and documented in the career plan.

Once a job seeker has accepted an offer of employment, we can work with them to support their ongoing success and growth. This includes mentoring, professional development activities and career advancement training for the participant.