The Federation for Children with Special Needs (FCSN) has partnered up with the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission (MRC) to bring a special program provided by MRC for young adults with disabilities who are 18-30 years old to help them explore the world of work and discover a career pathway.
NextGen Careers is a new initiative that is being offered in 117 cities across Massachusetts and focuses on supporting career-ready youth or youth transitioning into employment to explore career options further.
NextGeners will learn to advocate for themselves, gain confidence, and fast-track their job journey.
I want to learn more about NextGen Careers Initiative
Here are the eligibility requirements, service areas, core components, and more.
- Must be 18-30 years old
- Out of high school or turning 18 soon
- Can be currently 30 years old
- Competitive Employment ready – meaning the youth must be out of high school or college and ready for employment
- Must have a disability
- Eligible if US citizen or
Note: This is not the same as Pre-ETS or Pre-Employment Services nor is it Vocational Rehab (VR), which can be accessed as a 688 referral and services the following population:
- Youth ages 18-22
- High School
NextGen Careers is currently serving young adults in the catchment areas of the following MRC Area Offices: Worcester; Springfield; Lowell; Braintree; Boston; and Roxbury.
To be served by NextGen Careers, young adults must live in the cities and towns listed below.
Auburn, Boylston, Cherry Valley, Holden, Leicester, Paxton, Shrewsbury, West Boylston, and Worcester.
Agawam, Blandford, Chester, East Longmeadow, Feeding Hills, Granville, Hampden, Huntington, Longmeadow, Montgomery, Russell, Southwick, Springfield, Tolland, West Springfield, Westfield and Wilbraham. Belchertown, Chesterfield, Chicopee, Easthampton, Granby, Holyoke, Ludlow, Middlefield, Monson, Northampton, Palmer, South Hadley, Southampton, Ware, Westhampton, and Worthington.
Acton, Bedford, Billerica, Boxborough, Burlington, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Dracut, Dunstable, Lexington, Littleton, Lowell, North Reading, Reading, Tewksbury, Tyngsborough, Westford, Wilmington, and Woburn.
Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Bradford, Byfield, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, Newburyport, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury.
Braintree, Cohasset, Hingham, Hull, Milton, Norwell, Norwood, Quincy, Randolph, Scituate, Walpole, and Weymouth.
Allston, Back Bay, Beacon Hill, Boston, Brighton, Brookline, Charlestown, Chelsea, Dedham, Dorchester, East Boston, Jamaica Plain, Kenmore Square, North End, Revere, Roslindale, South Boston, West End, West Roxbury, and Winthrop.
Hyde Park, Dorchester, Roxbury, Mattapan, and the South End of Boston.
Whether you are interested in a certificate program, on-the-job training, apprenticeship, or an internship in STEM, NextGen will pair you with a team of dedicated experts in counseling, benefits, and peer support that will be behind them every step of the way.
- Multi-disciplinary Team, NextGeners are at the center of a team of people who offer a variety of skills and expertise to support an employment goal. If NextGeners want, their families can receive support from the team too!
- Career Preparedness -assessing and enhancing factors associated with Career Self Actualization/Self-CAReS, helping participants improve their preparation for their careers.
- Career Pathways. –short-work-based learning, particularly in the field of STEM, including internships and apprenticeships.
- Career Extended Support-on-the-job problem-solving to help maintain employment, counseling to better prepare for promotional opportunities, and other supports to promote independence.
Focus on developing and enhancing young adults’ internal skills, specifically:
- self-capacity (confidence in their ability to perform a job)
- self-advocacy (ability to direct one’s own life)
- self-realization (understanding of their strengths and limitations),
- self-sufficiency (ability to be independent)
The young adult is at the center of their own team.
- The cadence and intensity of the program will be their choice
- What do I need to do to learn this job/ accomplish this goal
The team will comprise of:
- Peer Mentor
- Family Partner
- Career Counselor
- Employment Success Specialist
- Benefits Counselor
- Specialty Counselor role
To connect with NextGen Careers:
Go to the website: https://www.mass.gov/nextgen-careers
- Complete the inquiry form by clicking “Apply Here.”
- A member of the NextGen team in the young adult region will set up an initial meeting within a few days.
- The young adult and any supporters will discuss NextGen Careers vs. General VR with NextGen Team Member to determine eligibility.
- The young adult will be assisted in enrolling in NextGen Careers or directed to the General VR application process.
- Initial Team Meeting will be scheduled, where NextGener will meet their team and be supported in choosing a Team Lead.
- Parents may be invited to attend.
For questions about NextGen Careers Initiative or Post-Secondary Transition, please contact the Federation Transition team at email@example.com.