Bridging the Skills Gap: A MS Career Lesson

Title of Lesson: Skills Gap & Lesher Mack

Course Name: Careers

Grade Level: 8

Author’s Name: Matthew A. Gross (Career Counselor)

School District: Annville-Cleona School District

PA Academic Standards for Career Education and Work
13.1. Career Awareness and Preparation
13.1.8.A.  Relate careers to individual interests, abilities, and aptitudes.
13.1.8.C.  Explain how both traditional and nontraditional careers offer or hinder career opportunities.
13.1.8.D.  Explain the relationship of career training programs to employment opportunities.
13.1.8.E.  Analyze the economic factors that impact employment opportunities, such as, but not limited to:
  • Competition
  • Geographic location
  • Global influences 
  • Job growth
  • Job openings
  • Labor supply
  • Potential advancement
  • Potential earnings
  • Salaries/benefits
  • Unemployment
13.1.11.F.  Analyze the relationship between career choices and career preparation opportunities, such as, but not limited to:
  • Associate degree
  • Baccalaureate degree
  • Certificate/licensure
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Immediate part/full time employment
  • Industry training
  • Military training
  • Professional degree
  • Registered apprenticeship
  • Tech Prep
  • Vocational Rehabilitation Centers
13.1.8.G.  Create an individualized career plan including, such as, but not limited to:
  • Assessment and continued development of career portfolio
  • Career goals
  • Cluster/pathway opportunities
  • Individual interests and abilities
  • Training/education requirements and financing
13.2. Career Acquisition (Getting a Job)
13.2.8.E.  Explain, in the career acquisition process, the importance of the essential workplace skills/knowledge, such as, but not limited to:
  • Commitment
  • Communication
  • Dependability
  • Health/safety
  • Laws and regulations (that is Americans with Disabilities Act, Child Labor Law, Fair Labor Standards Act, OSHA, Material Safety Data Sheets)
  • Personal initiative
  • Self-advocacy
  • Scheduling/time management
  • Team building
  • Technical literacy
  • Technology
Learning Objectives
The students will
  • understand the relationship between career choices and career preparation.
  • understand the skills gap in the current economy and the opportunities that exist for those who acquire highly desirable skills
  • understand the Employability/21st Century Skills and their implication on job acquisition.
  • create their initial 8th grade career development portfolio based on their current career and educational plans.
Conceptual Background
This lesson is intended for one class period period lesson (44 minutes) at the 8th grade level.  Prerequisite information and resources:
Instructional Procedure
6 MinutesPathways of Career Preparation to Career Success (Overview)
  • Ask students: What are all of the possible pathways to career success?  Students brainstorm in pairs and then share out.
  • Review possible pathways: college (types of degrees; associate, bachelor, master, advanced), military, CTC, other skills (OTJ, apprenticeship, diploma programs)
10 MinutesThe Insufficient Degree (Skills Gap) Video
  • Students watch video (6 minutes)
  • Discuss implications (4 minutes)
16 MinutesEmployability Skills Discussion
  • Provide an overview of a local business in your community.  See overview of Lesher Mack as an example (4 minutes).
  • Students brainstorm top skills required for employment (6 minutes)
  • Students discuss top skills required at Lesher Mack and overview of Employability/21st Century Skills (6 minutes)
12 MinutesStudents complete Part 1 of Career Portfolio – Grade 8
  • Provide instructions for students to create their portfolio in Google Docs.
  • Students complete Part 1 and submit.
Formative Assessment
Students will take a short 4 question quiz to begin class the next day via Schoology to check for understanding.  A copy of the quiz can be found at Employability & 21st Century Skills Quiz.
Materials Needed
Employability Skills. (2019). Retrieved March 29, 2019, from Minnesota State CAREERwise Education
Fleming, Kevin (Producer). (2016, August 24). The Insufficient Degree [Video file].
Lesher Mack. (2019). Retrieved March 29, 2019, from Lesher Mack
What Are 21st Century Skills? (2019). Retrieved March 29, 2019, from Applied Educational Systems

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