What is VITAL LINK?
VITAL LINK is a week long, half-day internship program designed to demonstrate the connection between what is learned in the classroom and what is needed for success in the workplace. The program began in 1991 and was developed by the American Business Conference’s Task Force. It is based on the principle that students can be motivated to achieve in school if they understand the “link” between academics and job skills.
Who can participate in the program?
VITAL LINK is a free summer program offered to Fort Worth ISD sixth grade students who will be entering the seventh grade in the fall.
How does the program work?
Students complete an application that includes permission from a parent to participate. All students are accompanied by a teacher who supervises their work at the participating business.
What are the benefits of VITAL LINK?
Participation in VITAL LINK has proven to be beneficial to both students and businesses. Students realize the importance of communication skills, team work, problem-solving, reading and writing, math, and technology skills in the workplace. Businesses who have participated realize their role in helping to shape our future workforce.
What is the role of Fort Worth ISD?
The VITAL LINK program is managed by the Fort Worth ISD Career and Technical Education Department. Staff members recruit companies to participate, train teacher supervisors and develop student placement. FWISD provides round trip bus transportation for students from the students’ home middle schools to the participating business locations.
What is the role of teacher supervisors?
Teacher supervisors guide all learning opportunities and facilitate the students’ experiences. They also take a proactive approach by assisting employees in designing the week’s activities and making the VITAL LINK connection for students.
What is the role of participating businesses?
- Commit to hosting at least 10 FWISD students for a one week, half-day internship.
- Select a business representative that agrees to coordinate the activities with a Fort Worth ISD representative and teacher supervisor.
- Complete an evaluation of the program at the end of the week.
What are the dates for 2019?
The weeks offered for VITAL LINK are June 10 - 14 and June 17 - 21. Students choose to participate in one of these weeks.
How long will the internship last?
Internships are one week, from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
What will the week look like for students and business partners?
- Monday: Orientation at the business and time spent on the job with their mentors.
- Tuesday –Thursday: Students spend time working with their mentors.
- Friday: Students and mentors continue their work, followed by a culminating activity where students present certificates of appreciation to the mentors and share their experiences in a creative manner. Businesses and their participating employees attend the ceremony and present certificates to the students.
The businesses and organizations listed below helped make VITAL LINK a success in 2018:
- Balfour Beatty Construction
- Bass Hall and Performing Arts Fort Worth
- City of Benbrook
- Cook Children’s Medical Center
- Fidelity Investments
- Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce
- Fort Worth Museum of Science and History
- Fort Worth Parks and Community Services
- Goodwill Industries of Fort Worth
- Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, LLP
- Lockheed Martin Aeronautics
- Multatech Architects and Engineers
- Naval Air Station-Joint Reserve Base
- North Central Texas Council of Governments
- TCC-Northwest and South Campuses
- Trinity River Authority
- Wells Fargo Advisors