Case Studies & Testimonials

Case Studies & Testimonials

Understand the Impact

As a teacher of the curriculum, I saw the students eating up the life skills portion of the curriculum. I can’t tell you how many kids told me that that wished they taught more of this in school.”
-Karen Hayes, Office of Mayor, Malden

Signal Success in Schools & CBOs

Over 50 organizations have used Signal Success to help young people become career-ready. The curriculum and programming helped launch new career and work readiness initiatives and also helped existing youth employment programs improve their offering and results. Across different implementation models, the common thread is strong skill gain and increased planning for work and career. To learn more about the results of specific programs, download the cases studies below.

Signal Success in Schools
MA State YouthWorks Program

Educators, Students & Employers Agree

At Boston Day and Evening Academy (BDEA), the Signal Success program came in just in time as we were re-thinking how best to prepare students with little or no real work experience to be successful at a job. CommCorp came in not just with a well-thought out curriculum that responded to students' varying levels of experience, but they offered technical assistance and training to our instructors each step of the way. For some students who were new to the whole world of work, this was life-changing, as they had to make serious adjustments to their own expectations, and realize that the rigor of the curriculum and the expected behaviors showed them that they could rise to the expectations. It helped them to know themselves in a different way, one that showed them they could succeed and aspire for more. -Beatriz Zapater, Head of School, Boston Day and Evening Academy
Having a turnkey curriculum that we are all using is fantastic. Having a beginning, middle, and end allows us to give all of our kids the same consistent information I’ve seen young people, with little or no work experience, grow by leaps and bounds. -Peg Crowe, YWCA Malden
Having our youth participants go through the Signal Success trainings have helped us ensure that they are ready to enter and succeed on the work place and better understand what is expected of them on the job. They are able to connect the readiness training materials with the real-world experiences they have on the job and are able to make better choices about their careers. -Jeffrey T. Turgeon, Executive Director, Central MA Workforce Investment Board
It is a comfort knowing that the youth in all of my programs will be receiving high quality training. The Signal Success training may very well be the first time that our youth get a clear sense of what a career pathway looks like and how their current activities relate to their long term goals. -Lynne Courtney- Director of Youth Services, SSWIB
The Signal Success Curriculum has been an important and timely addition to the vocational and work readiness classes offered at Malden High School. The curriculum is offered in several formats to meet diverse student needs, is engaging and participatory, and teaches youth many of the professional skills most critical to success in today’s workforce. Teaching the curriculum has been a pleasure; it is well organized and has excellent supporting materials. The staff at Commonwealth Corporation have been highly accessible and willing to support staff in customizing material, co-teaching lessons, and training staff. Youth who have participated in these classes and work programs have demonstrated skill gains and many have obtained competitive employment. -Kelli Collomb, Transition Coordinator, Malden High School
Use of the curriculum is an integral component of our efforts to infuse college and career readiness into student learning at Malden High School. The curriculum is written in a clear and concise manner, is informative, engaging and relevant, and the staff at Commonwealth Corporation have gone above and beyond to help staff implement the curriculum, and make adjustments whenever and wherever needed. -Dana Brown, Principal, Malden High School
Signal Success’s comprehensive curriculum materials make it manageable to deliver high-quality work-readiness trainings to young people. Multiple versions of Signal Success provide an opportunity for facilitators to customize trainings to the population. For the second year in a row, employer partners have commended the quality of participants in the YouthWorks program. Several partners have reported notable gains in effective communication, dependability, and work ethic. This year, several young people received offers of employment at the conclusion of the program, in industries ranging from finance to education. -Patty Gorman, Career Specialist, Partnerships for a Skilled Workforce, Inc./Future Skills Institute
The Signal Success curriculum teaches core work readiness skills and language that prepares youth for employment and for life. Youth report that they are more confident and comfortable beginning a job after completed the Signal Success curriculum. Employers report that youth who have participated in a training from the Signal Success curriculum are more prepared and are more successful in their first workplace experience than young people who have not completed the training -Jennie Davis Bulko, Assistant Director, Community Action Youth Programs
Signal Success is a high quality curriculum because it is activity rich and relevant to the work place. Youth are out of their chairs and working together. The breadth and flexibility of the curriculum allows me, as a teacher/facilitator, to tailor a given workshop to reflect the needs and priorities of a group of given youth. The youth are better prepared when entering into a work site and understand the real workplace expectations like communication, punctuality, and attendance. -Allen Fowler, Education Specialist, Community Action Youth Programs
Many of the youth thoroughly enjoyed the small group teamwork challenges throughout the curriculum. As a facilitator, I especially appreciated the objectives, concrete term definitions, and power points that were provided in each lesson. -Nadia Gandara, Manager of Workforce Development, Sociedad Latina

I have learned a lot about being more communicative knowing how to take criticism nicely, being more responsible, and knowing what to do in a tough situation. -Melyssa, Malden
Practicing for the interview was important because I have never interviewed. I feel like I could nail an interview now. -Janessa, Lowell
What I struggled with most was punctuality and timeliness. This program has helped me find ways to do better and motivated me to take care of myself. -Marianna, Boston
I have learned a lot about taking on real responsibility… this is an experience I will never forget. -Wally, Malden
Many people think they already have set skills, but this has taught me to reinforce those things and present myself in a way that could better my chances. -Christian, Northampton
Being able to practice what I would say in certain situations was so helpful. It helped prepare me for what I would say to a manager. -Ta Poe, Lowell

Seven of our summer YouthWorks participants were hired by outside employers. The Signal Success curriculum provided the tools to train youth to demonstrate Initiative, Dependability, Collaboration, and Communication; they interviewed admirably after practicing the Signal Success lessons. -Garreth Lynch, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Plymouth
I was exceptionally pleased with my student workers. They come when they are expected. When they arrive they are ready to go to work and have a very willing attitude. If the youth workers I had were any indication, I’d say that the course is working beautifully -Ruth Doyle, Mass Eye & Ear, Boston
We used to say no to different youth employment programs. Now, however, kids present themselves very well. They show up on time and in a professional manner. They show initiative and ask for work. We have had great success with a number of kids and have kept them on for years after and keep them through college. -Thomas Thibeault, Executive Director, Brockton Housing Authority
This was the best experience that I’ve had working with young workers. The students were very respectful and communicated well with our kids and their adult supervisors. -Patty Farino, YMCA, Malden
This summer, the MGH Youth Programs had the pleasure of incorporating Commonwealth Corporation’s Signal to Success curricula in to our professional development offerings for students’ participating in the summer jobs program. The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive, they felt the material and coaching was engaging and relevant to their short and long term professional goals and aspirations. We look forward to enhancing and expanding our partnership with Commonwealth Corporation next summer and during the academic year. -Christy Egun, Director of Boston Partnerships, Center for Community Health Improvement, Mass General Hospital

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