ESCEO Launches Career Counseling Programs

CANFIELD – Two programs that connect middle school students with industry experts and show them their best career path have been launched by the Educational Service Center of Eastern Ohio.

Pathful Connect and YouScience were implemented this school year by the ESCEO’s career counseling department. ESCEO serves 22 school districts in Trumbull, Mahoning, Columbiana, Stark and Portage counties.

The Pathful Connect program enables virtual connections between students, educators and industry experts.  Through conversations and workplace tours, it brings relevance to students’ courses by connecting them with real-world applications and practical insights, according to Sandy Furano, director of the counseling department.

The YouScience program tests students’ aptitudes through a series of brain games and makes the connection between education and career pathways more focused, Furano says.

Over 500 students have utilized Pathful Connect and YouScience so far.

The department also added more industry credential programs. The list now includes the building trades, information technology, 5G, manufacturing, drone pilot certifications, CPR and first aid. A student who receives an industry-recognized credential has demonstrated a competency level that is required to enter the workforce. Currently, there are over 1,000 students earning an industry-recognized credential, Furano says.

This year, the counseling department plans to expand career exploration into elementary schools, implement virtual reality career exploration through a partnership with Youngstown Business Incubator, launch the Lemonade Day entrepreneurship program, and offer a building trades student competition. 

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.