Work Experience Program

Program Description

NOVA’s Work Experience Program provides teenagers and young adults with an opportunity to experience the world-of-work, explore potential careers, and gain essential work readiness and life skills. The NOVA program combines preliminary training in work readiness skills with a work experience opportunity at a local business or non-profit organization. Our program serves economically disadvantaged individuals between the ages of 16 and 24 that reside in Northern Santa Clara County. Youth that actively participate in the job readiness training and complete a work experience can earn up to $2,500 from NOVA. Funding for the program is provided by the Department of Labor through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and donations from local businesses and foundations.


In the initial training process, participants learn about career planning, job search, computer skills, job readiness and educational options. A work readiness skills workshop series is provided at the beginning of the program to better prepare the youth for their work experience assignment. In addition, Career Advisors work to individually support the youth in developing plans to graduate from high school, attend college, and find unsubsidized employment. Throughout the program, opportunities will also be available for youth to attend workshops, forums, and field trips and learn about financial planning, education/career options, and community resources.

During the work experience component of the program, youth are placed in a business or organization and assigned work duties related to the identified position. The host business or organization does not pay the youth. NOVA provides the youth with worker’s compensation and an hourly wage for up to 25 hours per week for 200 hours of employment. The goal of the work experience is to help youth learn to be outstanding employees and to gain valuable job specific skills so that they are prepared to secure competitive employment in the future.

The host agency will be asked to describe the duties that a youth will be assigned during the work experience, to identify a worksite supervisor and to determine the youth’s work schedule. Youth complete a weekly NOVA timecard that is approved by the worksite supervisor and submitted to NOVA. The worksite supervisor will be asked to fill out an evaluation of the youth’s progress twice during the duration of the work experience. A NOVA staff person also serves as an on-call resource to provide support during the program. The youth participants gain the experience of a working in a real job and in turn they help the business to accomplish work and achieve success.

For more information on the Work Experience Program, call us at: 408-730-7640

Youth Employment Program 505 W. Olive Avenue, Suite 630, Sunnyvale CA 94086 Direct: 408-730-7640 / TTY: 408-774-5448