Pathways to Careers
A paid internship, following Discovery, enables the Pathways participant to pursue career interests, further identify conditions for success and strengthen their skills in an interest area, all within a work setting. This experience provides valuable opportunities to learn about their skills, preferences, and needs for success. This information is of great value not only to the participant, but to the business as well.

The paid internship serves as a unique opportunity for the participant and the business to learn about each other. The Pathways participant learns about the conditions of employment and the full range of tasks and responsibilities; the employer learns about all of the skills, interests, and contributions offered by the participant. For both parties, it is an ideal employment application process that allows each to determine if the other is a good fit for their needs and interests. Neither the employer nor the intern is obligated to convert the internship into permanent employment. Pathways interns may participate in multiple internship opportunities, based on their preference. Each internship opportunity lasts an average of 8 to 12 weeks,

Types of Internship Opportunities 

A Pathways intern can participate in any of four basic types of internships. Each is designed to present options of integrated, competitive and full wage employment (or self-employment) where a real possibility exists that an employer will be hiring: 

  • Standard internships are selected from current job openings (demand jobs) of employment partners that present a wide range of work types and community settings.
  • Adapted internships are developed by Pathways staff from standard internships to meet the needs of participants who are unable to perform some of the tasks or duties that are included in the standard internship. Job carving, job sharing, and other customizing strategies are used to develop adapted internships. 
  • Customized internships are identified by Pathways staff to meet the needs of participants who are unable to perform some of the tasks or duties that would be included in a standard or adapted internship. Customized internships are developed through an interactive job development/negotiation process with the employer partner.  
  • If participants have expressed an interest in eventual self-employment career goals that they wish to explore (or if they are unable to successfully participate in standard, adapted, or customized internships), Pathways staff will work with interns to develop customized self-employment internship options.


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