Steve Chapralis, M.A.
Vocational Rehabilitation Services
3017 State Street
Santa Barbara, California 93105
Dear Fellow Rehabilitation Professional:
As we are all aware, the current changes in vocational rehabilitation are making it increasingly difficult to find cost-effective schools and training programs to met the needs of clients who need re-training in a new career.
I have found a training program that you will find of enormous interest. It is a low cost program and guarantees jobs for students or a refund of their fees.
This unique training program is the Career Connection run by founder Jim Petulla. Here is how it works: Career Connection takes a person who is interested in retraining in a particular field and “connects” them with a mentor–a person who works, and most importantly employs people in that field. This mentor, a potential future employer of the student, trains that person on-the-job as he would an apprentice (extern) to learn that particular skill or trade. In addition to this training, study materials (a conventional accredited distant learning course) are provided to supplement the one-on-one personal training the student receives.
This mentorship/apprenticeship method dates back to the Renaissance period, and is highly effective in the training of practical skills and development of qualities needed in order to secure gainful employment.
While schools can provide good scholastic training, they often have difficulty placing their students because competition in the job market is fierce. That’s when experience (on-the-job internship or mentor training) wins out over conventional schooling.
Career Connection provides that type “hands on” training, and their students are usually hired while still under going their training by the very person who is training the student. Or the trainer can personally recommend the student for employment elsewhere. There are also incentives for the employer/trainer to hire the student, including cash incentives and bonuses.
Only highly qualified instructors who are carefully screened and evaluated are hired by Career Connection. These top quality instructors can be secured due to high rate of pay they receive. Instructors receive up to 80% of the student tuition fees.
And that could be why Career Connection is so effective. Educational institutions have developed so much bureaucracy that less than 10% of revenues are paid to the faculty. The very people who have the direct responsibility for the education of the students is rewarded less. Career Connection reverses that inequity. They are able to do this and still deliver the education for far below formal schooling costs by not having to pay for buildings, equipment, and other overhead expenses that can use up to 90% of revenues, and therefore put up to 80% of tuition toward faculty which insures quality instructors and equals successful graduates.
Another plus for Career Connection is that a student can receive training near his or her home. There is no need to relocate during the training period. The student is setup in an internship in their own local area and this eliminates the need for relocation costs.
The training received is always one-on-one; one student, one trainer or mentor. Additional studying can be completed at the home with the materials provided and direction from the trainer.
In my opinion, internship training provides the practical skills that are difficult to learn in a classroom or school setting. Students learn the “real world” of the field they are studying. Schools cannot recreate the dynamics of a real situation. This program is way ahead of its time in the sense that it not only provides excellent training, but also offers a high job placement rate.
Career Connection can train students in a variety of fields from Accounting to VCR Repair, Civil Engineering to Truck Driving, Radio Broadcasting to Interior Decorating, and succeeds in getting a student a job by wiping out that “catch 22”: You can’t get a job without experience, and you can’t get experience without a job. Career Connection recognizes that it’s not only what you know, but also who you know.
Again, I have found Career Connection to be an excellent alternative to formalized training programs in in every way.
It is significantly more cost effective. It provides more practical training in at least half the time, with a 100% higher job placement rate than conventional schools.
Steve Chapralis, M.A.
Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor