Practicum in Human Services Online Course

  • Practicum in Human Services Online Course Introduction

    Practicum in Human Services provides occupational specific training and focuses on the development of consumer services, early childhood development and services, counseling and mental health services, family and community services careers and personal care services. Content for Practicum in Human Services is designed to meet the occupational preparation needs and interests of students and should be based upon the knowledge and skills selected from two or more courses in a coherent sequence in the human services cluster as well as the essential knowledge and skills described in subsection (C) of this section for communication, critical thinking, problem solving, information technology, ethical and legal responsibilities, leadership, teamwork, and entrepreneurship.

    Instruction may be delivered through school-based laboratory training or through work-based delivery arrangements such as cooperative education, mentoring, and job shadowing.

    Students are encouraged to participate in extended learning experiences such as career and technical student organizations and other leadership or extracurricular organizations.

    Students will identify this course as part of a Career and Technical Education (CTE) program of study, understand that CTE in Texas is organized around 16 career clusters and 79 career pathways, and that Practicum of Human Services is one of 12 courses in the Human Services career cluster that equips students with:

    • core academic skills
    • employability skills
    • job specific technical skills

    Important
    This online course consists of an introduction and eight modules. Carefully read all course content to become familiar with the TEKS, student expectations, published lessons, and suggested activities. Names of handouts, graphic organizers, slide presentations appear in bold letters. Refer to attachments at the end of each module for additional information. Each module ends with seven multiple choice statements.

    After completing the course you will be required to complete a 50 question quiz and submit your name and email address. You will receive a certificate of completion at that address.

    The certificates for the successful completion of the online courses are NOT automatically computer generated and are reviewed individually. Certificates will be generated Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm.
    For questions, contact: sfacte@gmail.com


    NOTE
    From the State Board of Education Certification
    Figure: 19 TAC §231.1(e)
    ASSIGNMENT OF PUBLIC SCHOOL PERSONNEL, PART I
    REQUIREMENTS FOR ASSIGNMENT OF TEACHERS

    • The school district is responsible for ensuring that each teacher assigned to this course has completed appropriate training in state and federal requirements regarding work-based learning and safety. This requirement is effective beginning with the 2010-2011 school year.

    This online course DOES NOT fulfill SBOE requirements but does serve as professional development for six (6) Continuing Professional Education Credits.

    As approved by the Texas Education Agency, a passing score of 80 is required to receive a certificate equalling six (6) Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits.

    Refer to Introductory Lesson: Practicum in Human Services for an introduction to Career and Technical Education, Career Clusters™, coherent sequence of courses, and programs of study.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/introductory-lesson-practicum-in-human-services/

  • I. Career Planning

    TEKS Addressed

    (1) The student analyzes career paths within the human services industries.

    • (A) review careers within the human services career cluster
    • (B) complete a résumé
    • (C) create an employment portfolio for use when applying for internships and work-based learning opportunities in human services careers
    • (D) demonstrate appropriate interviewing skills to seek employment or job shadowing experiences
    • (E) analyze the effects of the human services industry on local, state, national, and global economies
    • (F) analyze the role of professional organizations in human services professions

    Module Content

    Producing a résumé is the first unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains six TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Résumé
    • B. Portfolio
    • C. Pre-Employment Testing
    • D. Interview skills
    • E. Careers in Human Services
    • F. Professional Organizations

    Refer to lesson Empowering Your Job Skills for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/empowering-your-job-skills

    Refer to lesson Show Yourself Off: Write a Résumé! for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/show-yourself-off-write-a-resume-4

    Refer to lesson Maximize Your Job Search with a Career Portfolio for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/maximize-your-job-search-with-a-career-portfolio

    Refer to lesson Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/researching-careers-in-the-human-services-industry

    Refer to lesson Professional and Industrial Organizations in the Human Services Career Cluster for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/professional-and-industrial-organizations-in-the-human-services-career-cluster

    Module 1 handouts

    -

    Résumé

    Writing a résumé helps prepare you for the job search process, which involves a variety of communications and research to locate the best position to match your skills. Part of the process of writing an effective and professional résumé involves self-examination and a review of your career and personal goals. Begin this process with the handout, The Seven Questions to consider your best qualities and how you can help yourself succeed.

    The résumé is a chance to show off your best attributes and skills. Access the lesson below and take the necessary time to draft and polish your résumé to land your desired job.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/show-yourself-off-write-a-resume-4/

    Portfolio

    To stand out among the competition for a job means you must know yourself, your goals and your accomplishments and how to showcase them for the employer. A portfolio is a collection, a summary of your experiences that will showcase your skills, talents and career experience. As you enter the workforce you are not expected to have a lot of career experience to show, but volunteer experiences, student organizations and honors and awards will help an employer understand who you are and how you might fit in the company organization.

    Explore websites to learn more about the types of portfolios and which will be best for you to create based on your career goals and experiences. Portfolios can be in a three-ring binder, a leather binder, include photos, videos and examples of written work or projects.

    Pre-Employment Testing

    Each of us develops physically and intellectually from birth, and part of this development includes the preparation for a job within a specific career path. You learn to follow instructions from an early age doing chores at home and in school your job is to think and do your schoolwork, which is much like following instructions on the job. Volunteer work and experiences in school or community organizations help you to fine tune the skills that will help you be productive and successful on the job. The personal skills and qualities you develop will carry with you into the workplace and affect the kind of employee you will become. Your track record of attendance, time management, follow through, reliability, cooperation, and completion of a task are all indicators and predictors of your future behaviors.

    Most successful employees have common qualities and skills. What are the qualities of a good employee?

    • Analytical skills
    • Cooperative
    • Dependable
    • Flexible
    • Good grooming
    • Handles criticism
    • Hard worker
    • Positive attitude
    • Respect
    • Trustworthy

    These are a few of the qualities that will stand out to employers in a job search process. Are these qualities desired for every job in the Human Services cluster? Yes, but one quality may be more important in one career over another due to the nature of the requirements of the job.

    Skills needed for employment are also developed over time and will be helpful on the job whether full-time or part-time.

    Communication is one of the most important skills for employees. Most jobs require you to be able to communicate effectively verbally and in writing. The way you communicate can influence whether you advance and receive promotions in the company. While you are in school, it is wise to learn to be an excellent communicator, which includes speaking in and out of class, listening and responding to instructions. Also use of proper grammar and punctuation on written assignments is vital.

    Technology and computer skills impact the way we communicate. Most jobs require the use of computers in some way. It might be for research, word processing, reports, tracking expenses or processing sales. The use of computers and the Internet requires reading and math skills. Understanding the proper protocol with communications through email or social networks is a vital skill.

    Organization skills will be a part of every job. Whether you are caring for children, consumer services, counseling or services involving the family, you will be required to manage your time, tasks and your own office or supplies in a company. Good organization skills will require you to plan ahead and break down large tasks into smaller ones.

    Many job skills are learned in the home and at school, but some are developed through job training programs. First, you need to do some self-examination so you will be seeking a job to match your skills and interests. Many sources are available to assist you in learning more about your aptitudes and how they match careers.

    Interview skills

    To secure a job, most individuals go through a job interview. This is a face-to-face meeting, often at the employment site, between the employer and the applicant. While the applicant has an opportunity to learn more about the company and the position, the employer will ask about your skills and interests to learn more about you and determine if you are a good match for the job. They want to determine if you are the best candidate. In our fast paced, global job environment, some interviews are conducted via internet chat resources, such as Skype or Instant Message.

    Interviews can be nerve-racking so it is best to practice answering a variety of questions related to the job requirements and your personal and career goals. The more time spent analyzing personal qualities and skills, the easier it will be to answer questions about how your skills match the job requirements. Career Counselors are excellent resources for assessing skills and interview practicing.

    This is what you have been working toward! You have gotten ready by asking yourself questions about what type of job matches who you are, conducting a job search, and creating an effective résumé and portfolio. Now you have been invited to interview.

    Here are several overall suggestions for making your interview process a positive experience:

    • All interviews are different. Ask your friends and family what their past interviews were like.
    • The most important step in interviewing is preparation. During the interview, it’s important that you point out your strengths and how your skills match the job. You are the one that has to portray your commitment to the field and your goals for the future. So prepare ahead of time!
    • When you are going to an interview, allow enough time so that you can arrive early to relax and lower your stress level. This will help you perform better during the interview process.
    • If you are interviewing at several companies, if you can, schedule your interviews so that you do NOT interview first for the job that you want the most. When you first start to interview, you may be nervous. You may make some mistakes (we all do). In the process of making those mistakes, you will learn what to do and not to do. Therefore, if possible, practice during a few interviews before you go after the jobs you really want!
    • Don’t forget to send a thank you note to the interviewer within 48 hours. This shows not only interest in the job, but also professionalism and business etiquette.

    Did you know that there are different styles of interviews? There are:

    • basic one-on-one interviews (just you and the hiring manager)
    • group interviews
    • internal interviews
    • video interviews
    • phone interviews
    • e-mail interviews

    Careers in Human Services

    Careers in human services vary greatly. They include careers in the healthcare field, retail and consumer services, personal care, government service and many specific areas. In the blue state government pages of your telephone book under Human Services you can locate contact information for companies and departments in your community. Many services include special populations such as aging services, child abuse, mental health, youth corrections, neglect services, crisis centers, service oriented clubs like the Lions, Rotary, Kiwanis, along with national service organizations such as the Volunteers of America, American Red Cross and many more.

    Access the resources for unpaid internship programs
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/rgroup/practicum-in-human-services/

    Access the resources for paid internship programs

    Professional organizations

    Professional organizations often have student units and offer many benefits as you build your career experience. Many professional organizations have jobs posted and will also post your resume. In addition, many offer scholarships, mentoring programs and opportunities that can propel your career. Professional organizations also offer opportunities for professional development and local, state and national meetings where you can meet other professionals. These organizations are specific to the career focus, but can be more general such as the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences which is an umbrella organization for all professionals involved in the field.

    • Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE)
      ACTE is the largest national association dedicated to the advancement of education that prepares students for careers. The association promotes career-focused education through publications, teacher resources, professional development activities, and public policy initiatives.
      http://www.acteonline.org

    CTSOs

    Handouts/Graphic Organizers

    Module 1 handouts

    • Best Colors to Wear to a Job Interview
    • Company Contact Log
    • Company Mission Statement Examples
    • Practicum in Human Services The Seven Questions
    • Rubric for Résumé Assignment

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • What to wear for a job interview? Explore this topic with students in class and then have students wear the clothes they would choose for their interview to class. Have students explain their clothes selection based on color, the mix of items and the audience. Students will complete Best Colors to Wear to a Job Interview.
    • Research local career services, either on campus, through job sources, or local companies to establish a list of mentors for students to practice interviewing skills. Bring some of the professionals to class to discuss hiring practices, interview skills and top skills. Develop questions to ask the guest speakers using The Seven Questions handout.
    • Conducting company research will help the student find a good match for employment using Company Contact Log. Students can research 10 companies (or more) in their area of interest and gather data to put in a table including columns titled: Company name and contact information, structure of the organization, products or services available, job opportunities and job requirements. This list can be used to send résumés for job openings or internships.
    • Students have to explore their interest and develop goals as a part of career planning. Have students develop two mission statements. The first statement should include specific goals to accomplish in the next three years. The second statement is to focus on the Internship and desired goals and accomplishments for the job internship. Use handout Company Mission Statement Examples to complete this activity.
    • Visit career centers on a campus or in the local community to participate in career pre-assessment and practice interviews. Career counselors can also visit the class and discuss the job market and desirable job skills.
    • Students can select an employer in their field of interest in Human Services and interview the employer. Ask the employer what qualities and skills they look for in an employee. Get advice on how to fill in a job application and ask about the current job market in the field.
    • Volunteering can be an excellent way to determine career interests. Have students identify companies and organizations in their area of career interest and list a variety of positions to volunteer.
    • Using technology programs, design a flyer to advertise yourself to a future employer. Include your strengths, abilities, skills, interests, and any other information that you think would help promote you for the job. Include photos and proofread for errors. Students will be assessed with Rubric for Résumé Assignment handout.

    References and Resources

    Quotes

    Find the thing meant for you to do, and do the best you can.
    -Henry Ward Beecher

    Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.
    -Henry David Thoreau

    Textbooks

    • Baldwin, G. (2008). Reality Check, the student’s guide to the real world. Priority Productions, Springfield, MO.
    • Kimbrell. , & Vineyard, (2003). Succeeding in the world of work. New York: Glencoe/McGraw-Hill.
    • Littrell. (2006). From school to work. (6th ed.). Tinley Park: Goodheart-Willcox Company.
    • Wanat, J. A., Pfeiffer, E. W., & Van Gulik, PhD, R. (2009). Learning for earning. (6th ed.). Tinley Park: Goodheart-Willcox Company.

    Websites

    • America’s Career Research Network
      America’s Career Resource Network (ACRN) consists of state and federal organizations that provide information, resources, and training on career and education exploration. The network is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education and operates in every state and territory.
      http://www2.ed.gov/programs/acrn/index.html
    • Bridges Transitions Co.
      Bridges builds on a K – 16 Framework that aligns student planning and programs of study to career clusters and pathways. Bridges ignites the first spark of career awareness when students are still in elementary school with Paws in Jobland. By middle school, students start using Bridges’ resources to increase self-knowledge and explore all their options, as they create a personalized Texas Achievement Plan (TAP) based on their assessment results. Once in high school, students plan their coursework based on their interests, aptitude, and career goals with an emphasis on college readiness. All work is saved in a lifelong online portfolio as students make the transition from middle school to high school and beyond. Self-directed resources, in English and Spanish, guide all students and their parents on a learning path toward secondary and postsecondary success. Meanwhile, Bridges’ professional development services, customized to AchieveTexas implementation, empower educators to effectively demonstrate the relevance between classroom learning and career aspirations.
      http://www.bridges.com
    • Career Cruising
      Career Cruising is a user-friendly, web-based career exploration and planning program that helps students meet their educational goals and educators track their students’ success.
      http://www.careercruising.com
    • College.gov
      College.gov is being built by the U.S. Department of Education in collaboration with students. This site is intended to be the go-to source for information and resources about planning, preparing and paying for postsecondary education (such as 2- or 4-year colleges and universities, and vocational or career schools). Most importantly, college.gov is intended to provide inspiration and hope to all students, and encourage them to consider and pursue a postsecondary education.
      http://www.college.gov
    • CollegeforTexans.com
      Here is everything a Texan needs to know about preparing for, applying for, and paying for college or technical school. And it’s all in one up-to-date, easy to navigate mega site almost as big as the state itself. And remember, $4 billion is available every year to help Texans attend college.
      http://www.collegefortexans.com
    • K U D E R
      The Kuder system gives students resources to help them make better informed decisions in planning their futures. Students have lifetime access to an education planner, resume builder, and educational and occupational exploration options.
      http://www.kuder.com
    • Labor Market Career Information (LMCI)
      This site provides students, teachers, parents, and counselors with links to products and services offered by LMCI. Teachers and counselors will discover materials, tools, and information that will help them to provide effective career counseling.
      http://www.cdr.state.tx.us
    • National Career Pathways Network
      The National Career Pathways Network (NCPN) is a membership organization for educators and employers involved in the advancement of Career Pathways, CTE, and related education reform initiatives.
      http://www.ncpn.info/index.php
    • O*NET (Occupational Information Network)
      Also available in schools and libraries, O*NET provides full information on occupations, including compensation, employment prospects, and skill matching for students. Information on compensation is available on a state-by-state basis.
      http://www.onetonline.org
    • Reality Check
      This site allows students to search for careers starting with the expenses they need to cover, the salaries they want to make, or their career choices.
      http://www.texasrealitycheck.com/
    • States’ Career Cluster Initiative
      This organization disseminates information on the 16 federally defined career clusters. It has published brochures as well as knowledge and skills structures (catalogs of knowledge and skills required for different occupations) for each of the 16 clusters of jobs. Both sets of publications are available online at the organization’s website.
      www.careertech.org
    • Texas Education Agency
      Keep up with the latest developments in Texas education at the state’s education website.
      www.tea.state.tx.us
    • Texas Workforce Commission
      The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) is the state government agency charged with overseeing and providing workforce development services to employers and job seekers of Texas.
      http://www.twc.state.tx.us/
    • U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook
      This nationally recognized resource offers information on job responsibilities, earnings, working conditions, and job prospects for the future.
      http://www.bls.gov/ooh

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. Often this is the first introduction an employer has to your skills and abilities

    • a. Résumé
    • b. Interview
    • c. Employee contract
    • d. Phone call

    2. Employers find these to be common qualities of a good employee.

    • a. Sense of humor
    • b. Respectful, positive attitude and dependable
    • c. Analytical
    • d. Able to calculate their own payroll

    3. This tool can assist in presenting your skills and talents to an employer and help you stand out among the applicants when presented professionally.

    • a. List of references
    • b. Job skills
    • c. Portfolio
    • d. Short haircut

    4. Professional organizations offer many benefits to membership, including

    • a. Free books
    • b. Job postings
    • c. Reduced student membership fees
    • d. Both B and C

    5. This is a meeting, often at the employment site between the employer and the applicant.

    • a. Company tour
    • b. Portfolio screening
    • c. Interview
    • d. Introductory lunch

    6. Careers in Human Services can be found in these industries

    • a. Architecture
    • b. Healthcare
    • c. Transportation
    • d. Business

    7. One of the most important skills an employer seeks in an employee.

    • a. Software programer
    • b. Interpreter
    • c. Fast typist
    • d. Effective communicator

  • II. Leadership and Teamwork

    TEKS Addressed

    (6) The student uses leadership and teamwork skills in collaborating with others.

    • (A) use leadership and teamwork skills in collaborating with others to accomplish organizational goals and objectives
    • (B) establish and maintain working relationships with all levels of personnel
    • (C) propose organizational priorities to ensure quality

    (2) The student uses oral and written communication skills and solves problems using critical-thinking skills.

    • (F) consult with colleagues or those knowledgeable in a field of expertise when needed to expedite solutions to problems such as referring a client to others if the client will be better served
    • (G) develop client recommendations using appropriate strategies such as analyzing client’s assets and evaluating and choosing options for maximum return and minimum risk

    Module Content

    Leadership and Teamwork is the second unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains five TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Leadership
      • 1. Styles of Leadership
      • 2. Leadership Skills
    • B. Teamwork
    • C. Employer Expectations and Organizational Priorities
    • D. Job Performance and Evaluations
    • E. Job Termination

    Refer to lesson Empowering Your Job Skills for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/empowering-your-job-skills

    Refer to lesson Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/researching-careers-in-the-human-services-industry

    Refer to lesson Service Learning with a Smile: Human Services for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/service-learning-with-a-smile-human-services

    Refer to lesson The Importance of Client Satisfaction for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/the-importance-of-client-satisfaction

    Refer to lesson Creating an Effective Work Environment for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/creating-an-effective-work-environment

    Leadership

    Leaders are people who have the power to influence the behavior of others. Individuals are often categorized as leaders or followers. In groups, leaders give direction to members of the group and help with goal setting and achievement of the goals. Good leaders involve members of the group and are able to motivate them to participate. Leaders are involved with goal setting, planning, implementation and evaluation of the group’s activities. Found in every area of our lives from business to education and government to families, leaders are needed at all levels of human organizations. Followers support a group through actions to help reach goals. Success requires good leaders and followers. Leaders often emerge from a group of followers who have developed leadership skills. Group members may be followers in some situations and leaders in others. Different situations require different types of leaders. A student organization may require different skills to lead than a business, or a athlete may lead on the field, but follow in the drama club.

    Students often begin developing leadership skills in youth groups at school or in the community. Leaders may also emerge in the classroom through group work. It is through the classroom and participation in youth groups that a style of leadership may become comfortable and seem more natural for an individual. This is an excellent time to evaluate leadership styles, experiment with various leadership styles and develop leadership skills.

    1. Styles of leadership

    Generally there are three types of leadership styles:

    • Autocratic
    • Democratic
    • Laissez-faire
  • Each type of leadership has good points. Sometimes leadership styles must vary to fit the group and the situation.

    • Autocratic leaders run the show and make the decisions. This style of leadership is successful when a group is willing to be lead and will get the results required to reach goals. Followers of an autocratic leader can be productive for the group when they follow directions of the leader. Autocratic leaders must give directions with positive influence and reinforcement to avoid confusion among the members of a group and avoid being viewed as dictatorial.
    • Democratic leaders stress balance and give and take among members. Decisions are discussed and negotiated by the members of a group. Leaders are typically selected by the group and while they may make some decisions for the group, generally the democrative leader will consult the group before making decisions.
    • Laissez-faire are on hand to serve as resources and play down their role as a leader. This type of leader provides no real direction, timeline or pressure to move forward. Little control is apart of this type of leadership and members are free to act as they choose. While this leadership style may not be as productive as others, members may feel encouraged to be creative.

    2. Leadership skills

    Very few individuals are natural leaders. Leadership skills are developed over time. Character, judgment, ethics, respect, trust, and vision are all apart of being a good leader. Character building begins at home, as does an understanding of respect and trust of others to work together. Overtime we develop standards and integrity based on our values, which we learn at home, school, church and from our experiences. A virtue is a positive trait or quality that we consider to be morally good and valued collectively and individually. Personal virtues when developed create individual greatness and can lead to positions of leadership.

    Ten Essential Virtues:

    • Fortitude
    • Gratitude
    • Hard Work
    • Humility
    • Integrity
    • Justice
    • Love
    • Positive Attitude
    • Self-Control
    • Wisdom

    Desirable leadership skills vary by the situation, but generally a leader needs to be an effective communicator, must motivate others and understand how to use the planning process to solve problems.

    Teamwork

    Teamwork means combining individual efforts to reach a shared goal. Working as a team in the workplace is crucial for success, however since we don’t get to choose who we work with we need to learn to get along with co-workers even when we disagree with their decisions. Developing effective teamwork skills in school will help in the workforce.

    Teamwork means that everyone must work together for the good of the group, whether it is a student organization, a team on the job or a team in class. All members of a group must be valued and considered important to the success of the team. An active group will draw more participants and interest and lead to success. Success will require a purpose, goals and a plan of attack. A productive setting to work in can provide consistency for the group.

    The roles of members of a group vary and may be determined by the activity or problem to be addressed, but generally a group will need structure and leadership to proceed. Some members will function as leaders, while others will follow. If the team is functioning within a formal structure, a constitution or by-laws may serve as the guiding force to govern. Officers or leaders may include a chairperson and secretary minimally, but may include additional roles such as a vice chair, public relations, project coordinator, treasurer and additional descriptions as dictated by the group. Various methods can be used to select leaders including elections, and/or volunteers. The governing constitution or laws should be consulted for direction.

    Employer Expectations and Organizational Priorities

    All people have expectations of one another, whether spoken or held as private thoughts. This is also true of employers. Once you secure a job, it is vital to the success of an employee to discover what the spoken and unspoken expectations are on the job. The expectations may change over time and may differ from employer to employer and from position to position. An employer searches for an employee who will save them time and money over the other applicants.

    Hard skills and soft skills

    • Hard skills are necessary to get a job, but often insufficient to keep it or advance. That’s because nearly all employees have the hard skills necessary to do the job for which they’re hired. That’s why career success is often determined by soft skills. A United States government study agrees that soft skills are essential to job success. In the early 1990’s, the Secretary of Labor asked a blue-ribbon panel to determine what it takes to be successful in the modern employment world. This panel published a report called the Secretary’s Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS). The SCANS report presents a set of foundation skills and workplace competencies deemed essential for work world success today.

    What are soft skills?
    The SCANS report identifies the following soft skills as necessary for work and career success:

    • believing in one’s own self worth
    • communicating effectively
    • exhibiting self-control
    • giving strong efforts
    • having empathy
    • knowing how to learn
    • managing time
    • making effective decisions
    • persevering
    • prioritizing tasks
    • setting goals
    • taking responsibility
    • working well in teams

    Six of the most common employer expectations:
    1. be on time
    2. follow your supervisor’s directions
    3. don’t talk on your cell phone when you are working
    4. maintain a positive attitude all the time
    5. treat your supervisor and co-workers with respect
    6. take your responsibilities seriously. Get rid of the “That’s not my job!” mentality

    Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind as you start a new job:

    FIRST DAY AND FIRST WEEK

    • be on time, no excuses!
    • dress appropriately and be well-groomed every day
    • make an effort to remember as many names as possible
    • listen closely and follow instructions
    • work hard and be productive

    FIRST MONTH

    • find out what the company’s policy regarding performance evaluations is
    • know company policies
    • know the majority of coworkers and the supervisory staff by name
    • resist the temptation to gossip and repeat or take rumors seriously
    • show an increase in your production and a decrease in the amount of supervision that you need

    TWO TO FIVE MONTHS

    • be self-directed
    • complete your tasks in a timely manner and assist newly hired employees
    • co-workers have different expectations of a peer after a “break-in” period
    • demonstrate your commitment to the company
    • don’t develop a false sense of security
    • primary job responsibilities should be second nature
    • relationships and expectations change over time

    Job Performance and Evaluations

    With every job comes a review of performance. Generally this will occur each year. Some companies have very structured evaluations, while others conduct simple meetings with the box to determine how to improve performance. While evaluations are designed to have positive outcomes for both the employee and employer, they can be stressful, putting workers on edge. Approach evaluations, whether 3, 6 month or annual, as a time of growth and an opportunity to gauge your progress on the job. Realize that you can benefit from the experience of superiors and become a stronger professional.

    Suggestions to maximize an employer evaluation:

    • Ask for a copy of the evaluation.
    • Ask questions at the end of the interview, especially if you are not clear on a topic or comment.
    • Complete any supplemental materials such as self-critiques.
    • Don’t interrupt. Be patient, listen and reflect before responding.
    • Highlight your achievements. Make sure you point out your accomplishments if they haven’t come up.
    • Plan ahead and devote your energies and concentration to the input you receive.
    • Take notes. You won’t remember everything.
    • Track your concerns. Make notes as concerns arise and include them in the outline.
    • Use the evaluation as a tool and reflect on past evaluations and your progress before the next one.
    • View criticism constructively and don’t get defensive.
    • Write an outline. Be prepared with a list of your strengths and areas to improve and compare it with the employer’s list.

    Job Termination

    Termination is when an employees job ends. The end of a job may be voluntary when an individual resigns or retires. Employment termination can also be involuntary – when an employee is terminated by the employer. Employees can be terminated for cause. In that case, an employee is fired or dismissed from their job. Employees can also be laid-off when there is no work available for them. Employees who are laid-off may be eligible for unemployment benefits.

    When the economy slows, companies run into difficulties, businesses scale back their workforce, and layoffs increase. Rumors may start flying that lay-offs are imminent and jobs are at risk. In fact, if you look at what has happened with major corporations recently, downsizing is often not predictable.

    That’s why it’s important to be be prepared to change jobs, because a lay-off could happen to any of us, often without warning. It’s also important to know what your rights as an employee are when you lose your job.

    Source of Employee Rights:

    • Contract Rights
      Employees who have an individual contract with their employer or employees covered by a union/collective bargaining agreement would be covered under the stipulations in the contract if their employment is terminated.
    • Company Policy
      When a company plans lay-offs, it may have a severance plan in effect. If so, severance payments may be provided if your employment is terminated.
    • Statutory Rights
      Statutory rights are those provided by federal or state law. They include unemployment insurance, advance notification of the closing of or a substantial lay-off at a facility (depending on the size of the company), anti-discrimination laws, and anti-retaliation laws.
    • Getting Information on Your Rights
      When you’re not sure about your rights, the best place to start is with the company Human Resources department. Even if they are in the process of terminating your employment, they can answer questions; let you know what company benefits you are eligible for, and can guide you through the process of leaving employment.
    • When You Need Help
      If you feel that you have been discriminated against or haven’t been treated according to the law or company policy, you can get assistance. The U.S. Department of Labor, for example, has information on each law that regulates employment and advice on where and how to file a claim. Your state labor department may also be able to assist, depending on state law and the circumstances.

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Identify the leadership style of various leaders in the school or community. Pick three leaders who have each of the leadership styles. Break into three groups, each representing one of the leadership styles and rate the leader based on the style of leadership and the organization or situation. Evaluate each leader based on the functions of a leader:
      1. Do they set an example?
      2. Motivate followers?
      3. Guide planning?
      4. Use tact? and
      5. Give recognition?
      Present the assessment of each group to the entire class.
    • Interview a leader in the organization you work for (or want to work for). Explore what type of leader they are and determine how they treat the followers. Are they successful as a leader? If so, why or why not? Could you work for this type of leader? What role would you fit into in this organization? A leader or follower?
    • Either as a group project or individual, select famous people in Human Service fields and examine their leadership style and skills. Individuals students are familiar with might include, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Martin Luther King, Donald Trump, Judge Judy, Sigmund Freud, Ellen Swallow Richards, or Mr. Rogers.
    • Students should identify a problem in school or the community and role play the decision making process to brainstorm solutions to the issue. Leaders can be selected to represent real leaders who are dealing with the concerns.
    • Provide leadership training. FCCLA has a wealth of leadership experiences and tools for students. Individuals can work together or as one to build leadership skills. Incorporate programs and projects into classwork. Focus on “Power of One”, “Leaders at Work”, and “Dynamic Leadership” as starting points for students to develop leadership skills and strengthen job skills.
    • Free IPad Apps
      Leadership Development features discussions, webinars, and topics to leadership skills TEKS 6A, B

    References and Resources

    Quotes

    Nothing is more important for the public weal than to train up youth in wisdom and virtue.
    -Benjamin Franklin

    Whatever you are, be a good one.
    -Abraham Lincoln

    Life is 10 percent what happens to me and 90 percent how I react to it.
    -Charles Swindoll

    For the young to become moral, they must be in the presence of people who take morality seriously.
    -Mary Warnock

    Happy is the person who finds fault with himself instead of finding fault with others.
    -Islamic Saying

    Forethought and prudence are the proper qualities of a leader.
    -Tacitus

    In looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you.
    -Warren Buffet, CEO, Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.

    Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgement will be surer.
    -Leonardo da Vinci

    I think we have to appreciate that we’re alive for only a limited period of time, and we’ll spend most of our lives working.
    -Victor Kiam, Chairman, Remington Products

    Textbooks

    • Frey, N., Everlove, S., & Fisher, D. (2009). Productive group work . Alexandria: ASCD.A.
    • Mendler, A. (2012). When teaching gets tough. ASCD, Alexandria, VA.
    • Parnell, F. B. (2009). Skills for Living, (9th ed), Goodheart Wilcox

    Websites

    • Association for Early Learn Leaders
      Formerly known as the National Association of Child Care Professionals (NACCP), the Association for Early Learning Leaders is the nation’s leader among associations serving child care owners, directors, and administrators.
      http://www.naccp.org/
    • Association for Childhood Education International (ACEI)
      ACEI is a global community of educators and advocates who unite knowledge, experience, and perspectives in order to exchange information, explore innovation, and advocate for children.
      http://www.acei.org/
    • Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), Division for Early Childhood (DEC)
      CEC is an international organization dedicated to improving educational outcomes for individuals with exceptionalities, students with disabilities, and/or those who are gifted.
      http://www.cec.sped.org/
    • Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC)
      The Military Child Education Coalition (MCEC) is a 501(C) (3) nonprofit, world-wide organization.
      http://www.militarychild.org/
    • National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)
      NAEYC is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8.
      http://www.naeyc.org/
    • National Association for Family Child Care (NAFCC)
      NAFCC is dedicated to promoting quality child care by strengthening the profession of family child care. NAFCC provides technical assistance to family child care associations by promoting leadership development and by promoting quality and professionalism through the organization’s accreditation process for family child care providers.
      http://nafcc.org/
    • National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI)
      NBCDI provides and supports programs, workshops, and resources for African American children, their parents and communities in early health and education, health, elementary and secondary education, child welfare, and parenting. Affiliate chapters are in many regions of the country.
      http://nbcdi.org/
    • National Head Start Association (NHSA)
      The Association provides support for the Head Start community by advocating for policies to strengthen Head Start services; providing training and professional development to Head Start staff; and developing and disseminating research, information, and resources that enrich Head Start program delivery.
      http://www.nhsa.org/
    • World Organization for Early Childhood Education-United States National Committee (OMEP-USNC)
      OMEP is the only worldwide non-governmental organization that focuses on education and welfare of young children, aged from birth to 8. The USNC works to educate its members and the public about issues relating to young children throughout the world.
      http://www.omepuk.org.uk/
    • Youth Service America
      YSA coordinates Global Youth Service Day and Semester of Service, distributes over $1 million in grants annually, and provides resources and trainings.
      http://www.ysa.org
    • Youth Volunteer Corps of America
      Promotes civic responsibility thorugh volunteerism among youth.
      http://www.yvc.org

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. This style of leadership is successful when a group is willing to be lead and will get the results required to reach goals

    • a. Lassez Faire
    • b. Democratic
    • c. Autocratic
    • d. None of the above

    2. A positive trait or quality that we consider to be morally good and valued collectively and individually.

    • a. Virtue
    • b. Value
    • c. Vision
    • d. Principle

    3. A common expectation of employers on the job.

    • a. Double profits
    • b. Eat out at lunch
    • c. Memorize the employee handbook
    • d. Don’t talk on your cell phone when you are working

    4. This report presents a set of foundation skills and workplace competencies deemed essential for work world success today.

    • a. Résumé
    • b. World Report
    • c. SCANS
    • d. All of the above

    5. Career success is often determined by these skills.

    • a. Soft
    • b. Computer
    • c. Hard
    • d. Flexible

    6. When the economy slows, companies run into difficulties and businesses scale back their workforce, which is often referred to as

    • a. Job evaluations
    • b. Downsizing
    • c. Voluntary retirements
    • d. Corporate boosting

    7. Leaders are people who have the power to influence the behavior of others. Good leaders can _______________ others.

    • a. discourage
    • b. follow
    • c. impress
    • d. motivate

  • III. Communication

    TEKS Addressed

    (2) The student uses oral and written communication skills and solves problems using critical-thinking skills.

    • (A) discuss human services research findings in everyday language keeping instruction at an appropriate level
    • (B) practice effective verbal, nonverbal, written, and electronic communication skills
    • (C) use communication skills such as ability to empathize, motivate, listen attentively, speak courteously and respectfully, defuse client’s anger or skepticism, resolve conflicting interests, and respond to client objections or complaints to the client’s satisfaction
    • (D) apply client service techniques to complete transactions such as managing and defusing objections with courtesy, persuading the client to agree with an acceptable transaction, facilitating client’s follow-through with the transaction and maintaining client relationship as client returns for services and refers others

    (8) The student selects and uses appropriate business procedures and equipment to produce satisfying client outcomes and business success.

    • (C) respond to client questions appropriately
    • (D) advise customers using appropriate and relevant information

    Module Content

    Communicaton is the third unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains four TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Types of Effective Communication
    • B. Customer and Client Relationships
    • C. Problem Solving
    • D. Role Playing Customer and Business Relations

    Refer to lesson Empowering Your Job Skills for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/empowering-your-job-skills

    Refer to lesson Researching Careers in the Human Services Industry for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/researching-careers-in-the-human-services-industry

    Refer to lesson Service Learning with a Smile: Human Services for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/service-learning-with-a-smile-human-services

    Refer to lesson Maximize Your Job Search with a Career Portfolio for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/maximize-your-job-search-with-a-career-portfolio

    Refer to lesson How to Effectively Communicate with Clients for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/how-to-effectively-communicate-with-clients

    Refer to lesson The Importance of Client Satisfaction for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/the-importance-of-client-satisfaction

    Refer to lesson Client Retention: Services, Techniques and Resources for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/client-retention-services-techniques-and-resources

    Refer to lesson Business Procedures, Equipment and Technology for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/business-procedures-equipment-and-technology

    Module III Handouts

    Types of Effective Communication

    Effective communication is vital for developing rewarding relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and other people. Stating your thoughts and ideas clearly will help others understand you. On the other hand, poor communication can cause serious misunderstandings and give the wrong impression. Developing good communication skills can help you work through problems and improve relationships with family, friends, coworkers and customers.

    Communication is an exchange of information between two or more people.

    Communication involves nonverbal and verbal skills each day and both are equally important.

    • Two types of communication are used in sending and receiving messages. The first type is nonverbal communication, which is a way of sending and receiving messages without using words. The second type is verbal communication, which is the use of words to send and receive messages.

    Nonverbal Communication Skills

    • We communicate with our body language, by the way we express our thoughts, feelings and emotions. Facial expressions, gestures and body motions convey different meanings and learning how nonverbal messages are sent can help you communicate more effectively.

    Verbal Communication Skills

    • Heredity and environment are two strong factors affecting our ability to communicate. We learn certain language from our family which is influenced by the regions we live in as words are pronounced differently in regions of any country. Word meanings may also vary from one part of the country to another. Informal language is often used with family and friends and more formal language is used at work. Good communication is needed to be successful at school or at work. Communicating clearly requires active listening and clarity in expressing yourself both verbally and nonverbally. Barriers can impede good communication. Your self-esteem, emotional state, and environment can affect the way messages are sent and received. Certain factors can get in the way of good communication, such as a closed mind, mixed messages and prejudice.

    Keys to good listening include:

    • show interest in what the other person is saying
    • try to block out interruptions
    • let the sender complete his or her thoughts
    • use good verbal skills in giving feedback
    • control your nonverbal messages
    • be aware of strong emotions.
    • don’t let silence make you nervous

    Explore the development of your job skills with the lesson on Empowering -your-job-skills found at http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/empowering-your-job-skills/

    Customer and Client Relationships

    Good relationship skills will help you succeed on the job. Nearly all positions require the interaction with other people, whether they are coworkers, supervisors or customers. It is important to use good relationship skills. When you are serving others, being friendly is key to making someone feel comfortable. Begin by building a relationship through conversation about casual topics such as the weather, news, sports or simple observations of their dress. Sincere complements will show your concern and make them feel welcome. Remember, the customer is always right so never argue or take up opposition with a customers view. Be helpful. Find out what they need and make it happen.
    Successful customer relations will get you noticed by the boss and prompt promotions, so make sure you are taking the time to develop customer relations skills. A smile and a simple “Hello” are always good first steps to start a conversation and a friendship.

    Jeff Gardner published “8 strategies for Successful Relations with Clients” in Business, Clients, Communication in 2008.

    • Know your role – get as much information as you can to help and get other experts to assist when you are not sure.
    • Hire the right customers – don’t take on a project you cannot be successful – stay true to your strengths.
    • I repeat ….. – build a solid reputation and choose to do a few things well.
    • Approach all communication with a Zen mind – approach every task with a beginners mind with no preconceived notions.
    • Listen for what isn’t there -check your ego at the door, ask lots of questions and clarify, clarify!
    • Do what you said you were going to do – different situations require different actions. Remember to approach things with an open mind, there is no one right answer that applys to all situations.
    • Admit it when you screw up- and then do everything possible to make it right.
    • Parting shot – If you do your due diligence up front and stay positive and cooperative you can be successful!

    Problem Solving

    Problems can occur in any situation. Students need to develop problem solving skills so when they are confronted with problems they understand the appropraite steps to take to solve the problem.
    The steps of the decision-making process can be used to work out a solution to a conflict or problem.

    These steps include:

    • 1. Identify the problem
    • 2. Identify the alternative solutions
    • 3. Evaluate the alternatives
    • 4. Choose the best solution
    • 5. Implement the solution
    • 6. Evaluate the solution. Was it effective in solving the problem?

    Negotiation is a communication process in which people alternate between sending and receiving messages, which is typically a part of solving a problem involving more than one person. The purpose is to reach a solution which may require compromise from both parties. Negotiation may need to take place in each step of the problem solving process. Good listening skills are required to negotiate effectively. A strong effort to understand each other’s points of view makes it easier to find a workable solution.

    Many challenges arise on the job. Among those challenges, conflicts in communication and ethics can occur. What is ethics? What does it mean to be ethical? How should an emloyee handle a situation that occurs on the job which conflicts with their values, ethics, integrity and sense of fairness. Students examine these questions about ethics as they write a paper reflecting on the topic of ethics in the workplace and how they would deal with an unethical co-worker or boss. Ethics Reflection Paper instructions can be found under handouts below.

    Role Playing Customer and Business Relations

    Customer service role playing is a critical component of an effective customer service training program. Here are some customer service role plays tips to get the most out of the exercise. But too often, customer service role plays come off as hokey and ineffective. Is it possible to keep role plays interesting? And what kinds of role plays are most useful for customer service staff?

    Customer service role plays are important because they give employees opportunities to learn and make mistakes without consequences. In a real world scenario, a bungled call can quickly turn a current customer into a former customer. But in a role play, every call is a learning moment not just for the individuals participating in the role play, but for the entire staff.

    Scenarios

    • As much as possible, you should try to set up scenarios that challenge your employees and cover the full range of customer requests. Although it might be tempting to try to cram every possible problem into a single “nightmare” call scenario, it’s better to focus each scenario on one or two issues to maintain parallels to actual customer service calls.

    The scenarios you establish should include the following:

    • 1. Calls relating to product returns and exchanges.
    • 2. Problems with incomplete or wrong orders.
    • 3. Payment issues such as incorrect credit card charges and billing errors.
    • 4. Requests for information about specific products and product lines.
    • 5. Angry customers who are generally dissatisfied with the company and demand remedies for their complaints.

    In this day and age, it might even be a good idea to establish role plays concerning emergency scenarios such as direct threats against the company, your stores, and individual employees.

    Roles

    • The training session leader has the responsibility of assigning roles for both the customer and the customer service representative. At times, the leader may find it helpful to play the role of the customer herself. However, it is also useful to allow the customer service reps themselves play the role of the customer. By pretending to be a customer, staff members gain a customer perspective and can more easily anticipate responses when they find themselves in a real world, customer service situation. A great way to keep everyone focused and attentive during role plays is to periodically switch new people into each role. If staff members know they may be asked to jump into the role play at any moment, they will be more likely to pay attention and remain engaged.

    Debriefing

    • At the end of each role play, you should debrief your staff about what you learned. Start by asking the person who played the customer service provider how he thought the role play went. Then ask the “customer’ and the rest of the group to give their perspectives about what worked and what didn’t. Finally, ask both the customer service provider and the rest of the group to talk about what they might do differently next time. It’s also appropriate for you – the trainer – to interject your thoughts into the conversation, but only after staff members have had the opportunity to process the role play themselves.

    An example of excellent customer service.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XOYqH7hsRqg

    Handouts/Graphic Organizers

    Module III Handouts

    • Career Investigation in Human Services Presentation
    • Career Investigation Information Rubric
    • Company Mission Statement Examples
    • Double-Entry Journal Notes
    • Edcanvas Blendspace
    • Ethical Reflection paper
    • Evaluation of Career Fair Expo
    • Glogster
    • Helpng Those in Need – Human Service Workers
    • Human Services Careers
    • Is Human Services the Right Cluster for You
    • Prezi
    • Sample Confirmation Phone Call Script
    • Sample Invitation Letter
    • Sample Thank You Letter
    • Texas CTE Fact Sheet
    • What is the Outlook of Your Future Career

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Finding a job involves much more than writing a resume and sending it to a potential employer. Students need to work on developing communication skills, both verbal and written. Have students write and fine tune the following documents to be used in a job search: Cover letter, Thank You letter, Decline letter, and Acceptance Letter.
    • Understanding individual values and personal qualities will help students communicate in a professional environment. Explain the differences between what a person values and qualities of an individual. Then have students write a statement of their own values and qualities.
    • Take the Survey of Communication Styles. This will assist students as they learn to be effective communicators. Discuss with class the types of communicators who are effective as managers and employees.

    References and Resources

    Quotes

    Experts often possess more data than judgment.
    -Colin Powell

    The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn’t being said.
    -Peter Drucker

    If you try and please everyone, you won’t please anyone.
    -37 Signals

    The problem with communication is the illusion that is has occurred.
    -George Bernard Shaw

    The way we communicate with others and with ourselves ultimately determines the quality of our lives.
    -Anthony Robbins

    Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people.
    -William Butler Yeats

    Textbook

    Jeff Gardner published “8 Strategies for Successful Relations with Clients” in Business, Clients, Communication in 2008.

    Websites

    Use this resource as a guide to have students practice good communication skills.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Youve-Got-Mail-Reflection3.pdf

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. Body gestures and facial expressions are two examples of this type of communication.

    • a. debriefing
    • b. nonverbal
    • c. verbal
    • d. problem solving

    2. The decision-making process to solve problems involves several steps. The first step is to

    • a. identify the problem
    • b. evaulate the solution
    • c. examine alternative solutions
    • d. consider the source

    3. A communication process in which people alternate between sending and receiving messages

    • a. audio recordings
    • b. negotiation
    • c. problem solving
    • d. facial expressions

    4. A closed mind is considered a _____________________ to good communication.

    • a. message
    • b. asset
    • c. open door
    • d. barrier

    5. Good listening skills are important to successful communication. An important skill is to _________________.

    • a. follow the steps in problem solving
    • b. consult your manager before making a decision
    • c. repeat what the person says
    • d. be aware of strong emotions

    6. A critical component of an effective customer service training program.

    • a. role playing
    • b. counting change
    • c. customer analysis
    • d. reading the company manual

    7. Good relationship skills will help you succeed on the job. Being friendly is a good start, but remember the ________________________________________.

    • a. sales person has to make the final decision
    • b. customer should speak first
    • c. customer is always right
    • d. sales person is always the expert

  • IV. Ethical and Legal Responsibilities

    TEKS Addressed

    (7) The student describes and observes ethical and legal responsibilities associated with providing human services to assure the best interests of clients.

    • (A) model behaviors that demonstrate stewardship of client assets such as providing beneficial help and suggestions to clients, evaluating when a client needs an advocate, and following through with meeting these needs
    • (B) model ethical behaviors in the relationship with human services clients such as offering prompt, honest, and efficient services; protecting clients from fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation; immediately disclosing any conflicts of interest; and making recommendations for service based on the preferences and needs of the client
    • (C) comply with laws and regulations related to retail, governmental, or private services

    Ethical and Legal Responsibilities is the fourth unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains two TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Labor Laws
      1. Discrimination
      2. Americans with Disabilities Act
      3. Sexual harassment
    • B. Diversity

    Refer to lesson A Look at Workplace Ethics in the Human Services Industry for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/a-look-at-workplace-ethics-in-the-human-services-industry

    Labor Laws

    Labor law (also called employment law) is the body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations. As such, it mediates many aspects of the relationship between trade unions, employers and employees. In Canada, employment laws related to unionized workplaces are differentiated from those relating to particular individuals. In most countries however, no such distinction is made. There are two broad categories of labor law. First, collective labor law relates to the tripartite relationship between employee, employer and union. Second, individual labor law concerns employees’ rights at work and through the contract for work. The labor movement has been instrumental in the enacting of laws protecting labor rights in the 19th and 20th centuries. Labor rights have been integral to the social and economic development since the Industrial Revolution. Employment standards are social norms (in some cases also technical standards) for the minimum socially acceptable conditions under which employees or contractors will work. Government agencies (such as the former U.S. Employment Standards Administration) enforce employment standards codified by labor law (legislative, regulatory, or judicial).

    Employment and Labor Law

    • Whether you hire your own employees or independent contractors, you will need to have a solid understanding of federal and state labor laws covering everything from benefits and wages to discrimination and harassment. These resources provide information about U.S. employment laws and regulations and how employers should comply with them. The Department of Labor (DOL) administers and enforces more than 180 federal laws. These mandates and the regulations that implement them cover many workplace activities for about 10 million employers and 125 million workers.

    • Following is a brief description of many of DOL’s principal statutes most commonly applicable to businesses, job seekers, workers, retirees, contractors and grantees. This brief summary is intended to acquaint you with the major labor laws and not to offer a detailed exposition. Employment Laws Assistance provides a list of selected U.S. Department of Labor laws and regulations with links to related compliance assistance activities. The DOL compliance assistance website offers complete information on how to comply with federal employment laws at http://www.dol.gov/compliance/

    Wages and Hours

    • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) prescribes standards for wages and overtime pay, which affect most private and public employment. The act is administered by the Wage and Hour Division. It requires employers to pay covered employees who are not otherwise exempt at least the federal minimum wage and overtime pay of one-and-one-half-times the regular rate of pay. For nonagricultural operations, it restricts the hours that children under age 16 can work and forbids the employment of children under age 18 in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. For agricultural operations, it prohibits the employment of children under age 16 during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous.

    Workplace Safety and Health

    • The Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) Act is administered by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Safety and health conditions in most private industries are regulated by OSHA or OSHA-approved state programs, which also cover public sector employers. Employers covered by the OSH Act must comply with the regulations and the safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA. Employers also have a general duty under the OSH Act to provide their employees with work and a workplace free from recognized, serious hazards.

    Worker’s Compensation

    • The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), administered by The Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP), provides for compensation and medical care to certain maritime employees and to qualified dependent survivors of such employees who are disabled or die due to injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel.

    • The Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) is a compensation program that provides a lump-sum payment of $150,000 and prospective medical benefits to employees (or certain of their survivors) of the Department of Energy and its contractors and subcontractors as a result of cancer caused by exposure to radiation, or certain illnesses caused by exposure to beryllium or silica incurred in the performance of duty.
    • The Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), 5 U.S.C. 8101 et seq., establishes a comprehensive and exclusive workers’ compensation program which pays compensation for the disability or death of a federal employee resulting from personal injury sustained while in the performance of duty. The FECA, administered by OWCP, provides benefits for wage loss compensation for total or partial disability, schedule awards for permanent loss or loss of use of specified members of the body, related medical costs, and vocational rehabilitation.
    • The Black Lung Benefits Act (BLBA) provides monthly cash payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis (“black lung disease”) arising from their employment in the nation’s coal mines.

    Employee Benefit Security

    • The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) regulates employers who offer pension or welfare benefit plans for their employees. Title I of ERISA is administered by the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) (formerly the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration) and imposes a wide range of fiduciary, disclosure and reporting requirements on fiduciaries of pension and welfare benefit plans and on others having dealings with these plans.

    What is a labor union?

    • Labor unions are legally recognized as representatives of workers in many industries in the United States. Their activity today centers on collective bargaining over wages, benefits, and working conditions for their membership, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contract provisions. Larger unions also typically engage in lobbying activities and electioneering at the state and federal level.

    • Most unions in America are aligned with one of two larger umbrella organizations: the AFL-CIO created in 1955, and the Change to Win Federation which split from the AFL-CIO in 2005. Both advocate policies and legislation on behalf of workers in the United States and Canada, and take an active role in politics. The AFL-CIO is especially concerned with global trade issues.
    • In 2010, the percentage of workers belonging to a union in the United States (or total labor union “density”) was 11.4%, compared to 18.6% in Germany, 27.5% in Canada, and 70% in Finland. Union membership in the private sector has fallen under 7% — levels not seen since 1932. Unions allege that employer-incited opposition has contributed to this decline in membership. The most prominent unions are among public sector employees such as teachers and police. Members of unions are disproportionately older, male and residents of the Northeast, the Midwest, and California. Union workers average 10-30% higher pay than non-union in America after controlling for individual, job, and labor market characteristics. Although much smaller compared to their peak membership in the 1950s, American unions remain a prominent political factor, both through mobilization of their own memberships and through coalitions with like-minded activist organizations around issues such as immigrant rights, trade policy, health care, and living wage campaigns.
    • The Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act (LMRDA) of 1959 (also known as the Landrum-Griffin Act) deals with the relationship between a union and its members. It protects union funds and promotes union democracy by requiring labor organizations to file annual financial reports, by requiring union officials, employers, and labor consultants to file reports regarding certain labor relations practices, and by establishing standards for the election of union officers. The act is administered by the Office of Labor-Management Standards (OLMS).

    The Family and Medical Leave Act

    • Administered by the Wage and Hour Division, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires employers of 50 or more employees to give up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave to eligible employees for the birth or adoption of a child or for the serious illness of the employee or a spouse, child or parent.

    Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers

    • The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) regulates the hiring and employment activities of agricultural employers, farm labor contractors, and associations using migrant and seasonal agricultural workers. The Act prescribes wage protections, housing and transportation safety standards, farm labor contractor registration requirements, and disclosure requirements. The Wage and Hour Division administers this law.

    Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA)

    • The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) exempts agricultural workers from overtime premium pay, but requires the payment of the minimum wage to workers employed on larger farms (farms employing more than approximately seven full-time workers. The Act has special child-labor regulations that apply to agricultural employment; children under 16 are forbidden to work during school hours and in certain jobs deemed too dangerous. Children employed on their families’ farms are exempt from these regulations. The Wage and Hour Division administers this law. OSHA also has special safety and health standards that may apply to agricultural operations.

    Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)

    • The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires employers who want to use foreign temporary workers on H-2A visas to get a labor certificate from the Employment and Training Administration certifying that there are not sufficient, able, willing and qualified U.S. workers available to do the work. The labor standards protections of the H-2A program are enforced by The Wage and Hour Division.

    Discrimination

    Employment Discrimination laws seek to prevent discrimination based on race, sex, religion, national origin, physical disability, and age by employers. A growing body of law also seeks to prevent employment discrimination based on sexual orientation.

    Discriminatory practices include:

    • bias in hiring
    • promotion
    • job assignment
    • termination
    • compensation
    • retaliation
    • various types of harassment

    The main body of employment discrimination laws consists of federal and state statutes. The United States Constitution and some state constitutions provide additional protection when the employer is a governmental body or the government has taken significant steps to foster the discriminatory practice of the employer.

    Americans with Disabilities Act

    • Congress enacted the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 to eliminate discrimination against those with handicaps. It prohibits discrimination based on a physical or mental handicap by employers engaged in interstate commerce and state governments. It is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations and telecommunications. ADA prohibits discrimination more broadly than that explicitly outlined by Title VII. The EEOC interprets and enforces the Americans with Disabilities Act, while state statues also provide extensive protection. The complexity of issues arising under the ADA required developing a series of policy guidances designed to clarify and interpret the provisions of the law.

    Key issues include:

    • pre-employment inquiries
    • medical examinations
    • workers’ compensation benefits
    • psychiatric conditions
    • the meaning of the term “qualified”
    • the requirement that employers provide reasonable accommodations

    Some of the Commission’s ADA litigation demonstrate the widespread, and oftentimes overt, discrimination faced by individuals with disabilities. Examples of Commission initiated ADA litigation include:

    • A 1993 consent decree resolving a claim alleging disability-based distinctions in a union’s health insurance plan which limited lifetime benefits for AIDS to $50,000.00, while providing benefits up to $500,000.00 for other catastrophic conditions. In this case, the defendant company and union agreed to pay $100,000.00 for medical expenses and damages, and to remove the limit on AIDS coverage retroactive to the ADA’s effective date.

    • A 1993 jury verdict finding a security firm had discharged its executive director because he had terminal brain cancer, although he had continued to perform the essential functions of his job. On behalf of the charging party, EEOC secured $220,000 in back pay, compensatory relief, and punitive damages.

    • A 1997 jury verdict finding that Wal-Mart had discriminated by refusing to hire an individual who used a wheelchair because of his disability. As part of its evidence, EEOC introduced a videotape showing the charging party performing many physically challenging activities during his daily life. The jury awarded $8,399 in back pay, $75,000 in compensatory damages, and $3.5 million in punitive damages (later reduced to $225,000 because of the statutory cap on punitive damages.)

    • A 1999 jury verdict against Chuck E. Cheese pizza chain, where the Commission alleged that the defendant discriminatory discharged an employee because of his mental retardation. Although the employee was able to work productively with the aid of a job coach, and the local manager and staff supported his retention, the employee was fired by a regional manager who stated that the company did not employ “those kind of people.” Ultimately, EEOC won a jury award of $10,000 in back pay, $70,000 in compensatory damages for emotional distress, and a record $13 million in punitive damages (later reduced to $230,000 because of the statutory cap on punitive damages).

    Disability.gov is a federal government website devoted to comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. The site has information on topics such as applying for benefits, getting health care, finding a job, paying for housing and protecting the legal rights of people with disabilities. https://www.disability.gov/

    Sexual Harassment

    According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-sex.cfm sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination that violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature constitutes sexual harassment when submission to or rejection of this conduct explicitly or implicitly affects an individual’s employment, unreasonably interferes with an individual’s work performance or creates an intimidating, hostile or offensive work environment.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Pub.L. 88-352, 78 Stat. 241, enacted July 2, 1964) was a landmark piece of legislation in the United States that outlawed major forms of discrimination against racial, ethnic, national and religious minorities, and women. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.

    Powers given to enforce the act were initially weak, but were supplemented during later years. Congress asserted its authority to legislate under several different parts of the United States Constitution, principally its power to regulate interstate commerce under Article One (section 8), its duty to guarantee all citizens equal protection of the laws under the Fourteenth Amendment and its duty to protect voting rights under the Fifteenth Amendment. The Act was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson, who would later sign the landmark Voting Rights Act into law.

    While not limited to the following, sexual harassment can occur in a variety of circumstances.

    • The victim may be a man or a woman and does not have to be of the opposite sex.
    • The victim’s supervisor may be the harasser, an agent of the employer, a supervisor in another area, a co-worker, or a non-employee.
    • The victim could be anyone affected by the offensive conduct.
    • Unlawful sexual harassment may occur without economic injury to or discharge of the victim.
    • The harasser’s conduct must be unwelcome.

    It is wise for the victim to inform the harasser that the conduct is not acceptable and to stop. The victim should follow company policies to complain or file a grievance.

    The EEOC looks at the entire record when investigating allegations of sexual harassment. This includes the circumstances, nature of the sexual conduct, and the context in which the alleged incidents occurred. Facts drive the decisions on a case-by-case basis.

    Since employers want to avoid any employee complaints on the job, they often provide education and training to employees to prevent and eliminate sexual harassment in the workplace. Communicating a lack of tolerence for such behavior on the job and explaining a complaint or grievance process establishes expectations from employees.

    Diversity

    Diversity is the state or fact of being different, unlike.

    Workplace diversity is a people issue, focused on the differences and similarities that people bring to an organization. It is usually defined broadly to include dimensions beyond those specified legally in equal opportunity and affirmative action non-discrimination statutes. Diversity is often interpreted to include dimensions which influence the identities and perspectives that people bring, such as profession, education, parental status and geographic location.

    As a concept, diversity is considered to be inclusive of everyone. In many ways, diversity initiatives complement non-discrimination compliance programs by creating the workplace environment and organizational culture for making differences work. Diversity is about learning from others who are not the same, about dignity and respect for all, and about creating workplace environments and practices that encourage learning from others and capture the advantage of diverse perspectives.

    With the world becoming more mobile and diverse, diversity has taken on a new importance in the workplace.

    The variety of experiences and perspective which arise from differences include:

    • race
    • culture
    • religion
    • mental or physical abilities
    • heritage
    • age
    • gender
    • sexual orientation
    • gender identity
    • other characteristics must be taken into consideration in the work place

    Many people when they think of diversity, they think first of ethnicity and race, and then gender? Diversity is much broader. Diversity is otherness or those human qualities that are different from our own and outside the groups to which we belong, yet present in other individuals and groups. It’s important to understand how these dimensions affect performance, motivation, success, and interactions with others. Institutional structures and practices that have presented barriers to some dimensions of diversity should be examined, challenged, and removed. Most employers recognize the diversity of individuals adds to the richness and quality of the work produced and celebrate differences.

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Examine mission statements from five of the companies the student researched in career planning, paying close attention to how the company addresses concepts of integrity, ethics, judgment, honesty, values and the community of workers. Divide the class into small groups or partners and distribute short scenarios (find on the internet or write your own based on the career interests of students) which present ethical conflicts such as discrimination, sexual harrassment, or unfair hiring practices, with employees and employers policies. Students will discuss how to deal with the conflicts and present to the class.
    • Sometimes personal values conflict with the values of a company. Explore company mission statements (usually posted on company websites) and discuss potential conflicts with students’ personal values. How will students handle these? What kind of ethical dilemas will students face? What resources are available to manage these conflicts in the company?
    • Federal labor law posters need to be visible to all employees and state that the company is an equal opportunity employer. Watch this short video on labor laws and the display of posters in the work place.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-MOfzxTwC4
    • Read the book (or watch the hallmark hall of fame movie) Beyond the Blackboard by Stacey Bess about teaching the homeless. Examine the challenges of teaching the homeless, discuss the concerns of discrimination of the homeless and legal responsibilities society has to all students. For more information about disadvantaged students, and a teacher guide, go to http://www.staceybess.com
    • Invite a panel of community leaders and employers to discuss the importance of social, emotional, and legal challenges in the workplace. Prepare a list of questions regarding discrimination, disabilities, and sexual harassment in the workplace and how to avoid problems. Summarize responses in a one-page paper on “The Ideal Workplace”.
    • Watch the movie “Nine to Five” and discuss the role of men and women in the office and the problem of sexual harassment in the workplace. Do students believe this type of harassment takes place today? What can be done to avoid unpleasant situations in the office environment?

    References and Resources

    Websites

    • Americans with Disabilities Act
      The Department enforces the ADA through complaints, lawsuits, consent decrees, settlement agreements and alternate dispute resolution (mediation.)
      http://www.ada.gov
    • Disability.gov
      A federal government website devoted to comprehensive information on disability programs and services in communities nationwide. The site has information on topics such as applying for benefits, getting health care, finding a job, paying for housing and protecting the legal rights of people with disabilities.
      http://www.disability.gov/
    • Small Business Administration
      The voice of small business in America, on capital hill and in your community.
      http://www.sba.org
    • U.S. Department of Labor
      The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is committed to providing America’s workers, employers, job seekers, and retirees — with clear and easy-to-access information on how to comply with federal employment laws.
      http://www.dol.gov/compliance
    • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
      The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is responsible for enforcing federal laws that make it illegal to discriminate against a job applicant or an employee because of the person’s race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information.
      http://www.eeoc.gov
    • Beyond the Blackboard A book by Stacey Bess, and a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, a story of teaching homeless children in the School with No Name.
      http://www.staceybess.com

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. The body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations.

    • a. discrimination laws
    • b. labor laws
    • c. sexual harassment bylaws
    • d. American constitution

    2. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.

    • a. Civil Rights Act of 1964
    • b. Civil Rights Act of 1960
    • c. Civil Rights Act of 1990
    • d. Civil Rights Act of 1955

    3. These initiatives complement non-discrimination compliance programs by creating the workplace environment and organizational culture for making differences work.

    • a. Diversity
    • b. Compliance
    • c. Discrimination
    • d. Recycling

    4. Provides monthly cash payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis arising from their employment in the nation’s coal mines.

    • a. Black Health Benefits
    • b. Coal Miners Act
    • c. Black Lung Benefits Act
    • d. Black Coal Miners Act

    5. Employers covered by the OSH Act must comply with the regulations and the safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA, which stands for ____________________________________.

    • a. Obvious Safety and Helpful Administrators
    • b. Office Safety and Academic Admissions
    • c. Occupational Solutions and Health Administration
    • d. Occupational Safety and Health Administration

    6. Their activity today centers on collective bargaining over wages, benefits, and working conditions for their membership, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contract provisions.

    • a. Congressional Committees
    • b. State Bargaining organizations
    • c. Labor Unions
    • d. Labor Acts

    7. Federal labor law _____________ need to be visible to all employees and state that the company is an equal opportunity employer.

    • a. posters
    • b. emails
    • c. pictures
    • d. newsletters

  • V. Healthy Work Environment

    TEKS Addressed

    (5) The student establishes a physically and psychologically healthy environment to inspire client confidence in services provided.

    • (A) identify locations suitable to offer human services safely such as accessibility to transportation, safety and security of the location
    • (B) incorporate a functional work environment, equipment needs, and required utilities for offering human services
    • (C) create a psychologically suitable environment such as implementing elements of a non-threatening environment or using social skills needed for a diverse population
    • (D) employ emergency procedures as necessary to provide aid in workplace accidents
    • (E) employ knowledge of response techniques to create a disaster and emergency response plan

    Healthy Work Environment is the fifth unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains three TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Evaluating the Work Environment
    • B. Functional Work Environment
      1. Flow of Work Stations
      2. Arrangement of Equipment
      3. Ergonomics
    • C. Emotionally Safe Work Environment
      1. Diversity
      2. Discrimination
      3. Sexual Harassment
      4. Non-threatening Environment

    Module 5 handouts

    Evaluating the Work Environment

    The physical aspects of a workplace environment can have a direct impact on the productivity, health and safety, comfort, concentration, job satisfaction and morale of the people within it.

    Important factors in the work environment that should be considered include:

    • building design and age
    • workplace layout
    • workstation set-up
    • furniture and equipment
    • furniture design and quality
    • space
    • temperature
    • ventilation
    • lighting
    • noise
    • vibration
    • radiation
    • air quality

    Why should we evaluate the workplace environment?

    • When people are working in situations that suit their physical and mental abilities, the correct fit between the person and the work task is accomplished. People are then in the optimum situation for learning, working and achieving, without adverse health consequences, e.g. injury, illness.

    What work environment factors should be assessed?

    • When assessing the workplace environment, consideration should be given to individual human characteristics such as age, sex, experience, physical stature and how well these human characteristics match the physical environment. Appropriate design of workplace environments will ensure that they accommodate a broad variety of human characteristics.

    Who is responsible for assessing the work environment?

    • Each employee should be conscious of their health in their work environment and record any pain, discomfort, injury or illness that they believe is work-related. This information should be reported to supervisors as soon as possible to allow appropriate corrective action to reduce the risk to health and safety to be taken.

    A determination then needs to be made whether the employee and/or supervisor can assess the situation with the available information, or whether information and advice needs to be sought from the district office.

    • How do we evaluate the workplace environment?
      The risk management process is used to evaluate the workplace environment. This involves:
    • identifying work environment hazards
    • assessing the risk of injury/illness from these hazards
    • implementing appropriate control measures to prevent or minimize the risks;
    • checking that the control strategies are effectively controlling the risks

    To identify environmental hazards in your workplace, you can:

    • consult with colleagues and supervisors about possible hazards
    • walk through the work site and record any hazards
    • analyze workplace incident, accident, injury and illness data
    • consult with specialist practitioners, industry associations, unions and government bodies

    In assessing the risks associated with the work environment, the following two factors should be considered:

    • the likelihood of an incident, accident, injury or illness occurring because of the risk — a very high likelihood indicates controls may be necessary
    • the severity of the consequences if an incident, accident, injury or illness occurred because of the risk — if there were many fatalities, this would constitute extremely severe consequences

    If a hazard is determined to be a risk (based on likelihood of occurrence and severity of consequences), it is advisable to provide time, money and personnel resources to help prevent or minimize the risks.

    The work environment should satisfy the physical and mental requirements of the people who work within it. The necessary adjustments to the work area, in terms of the heights and angles of furniture and equipment, should be made for the comfort and safety of each person.

    The following environmental hazards may require consideration in your workplace:

    • Noise
      Excessive exposure to loud noise can irreversibly damage the ear, resulting in noise-induced hearing loss. ‘Nuisance’ noise can be annoying and distracting and result in reduced job performance and satisfaction. Noise may also be unsafe if it impairs communication in the work environment, such as by overpowering auditory alarms.
    • Lighting
      Lighting levels need to be appropriate to the task and must comply with Australian Standard 1680. Working in dim or over bright work environments can result in eyestrain, headaches, irritability and, inevitably, reduced productivity. Light sources, including the sun, can create unwanted reflections, glare and shadows in the workplace that can cause discomfort and distraction, and can interfere with the performance of visual tasks. Low levels of lighting can cause depression, which for some people may be severe.
    • Ventilation, air quality and thermal comfort
      Ventilation is important for the control of dust, fumes, gases, aerosols, climate and thermal comfort factors. Exposure to different types of dust can result in fibrosis of the lung, allergic reactions and asthma attacks. Various vapors, gases and aerosols have the ability to cause respiratory and skin damage. Extremes of heat can reduce concentration and motivation and cause a number of heat-related illnesses. Extremes of heat can also reduce tolerance to chemical and noise exposure, and increase the risk of heart attacks.
    • Vibration
      Whole body vibration, such as from riding a mower, can affect comfort and performance even at low levels and can cause damage to the spine, stomach pain and gastrointestinal complaints. Hand-arm vibration, such as from hand tools, can have negative effects on muscles and the skeleton, and can contribute to carpal tunnel syndrome, low-back pain and vibration white finger, for example.
    • Radiation
      Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun can induce potentially lethal skin cancers. Exposure to direct sun, particularly between the hours of eleven and two, can result in sunburn, headaches and fatigue. Different people have varying degrees of sensitivity to the sun, such as fair freckled skin often burns more quickly than olive skin. Precautions for avoiding sun exposure should be followed diligently by everybody.

    The risk associated with each hazard can be controlled by implementing the following hierarchy of controls:

    • eliminating the risk from the workplace, such as by removing hazardous playground equipment
    • substituting a material in the workplace environment with a less hazardous one, such as purchasing non-hazardous cleaning equipment, or replacing slippery floors with non-slip flooring
    • redesigning the workplace layout to reduce risks, such as rearranging furniture to allow easy access to materials and equipment
    • isolating, closing off or guarding a particular hazard in the work environment, such as keeping medicines in a locked cabinet
    • administration — adjusting the time and conditions of an individual’s exposure to the risk, such as rotating tasks so that employees do not spend too long in hot or cold conditions, or too long performing a strenuous manual task
    • providing personal protective equipment as a last resort, when higher-order controls are not practicable, such as providing hearing protection, face shields and sunscreen for janitors/grounds persons using whipper-snippers and lawn mowers

    Functional Work Environment

    The four main categories of physical characteristics that need to be considered in the work environment are:

    • clearance, such as headroom, legroom, elbow-room, access
    • arm reach, which has a bearing on storage of materials
    • posture, which has a bearing on the location of materials/equipment, heights of working surfaces
    • strength

    Physical environmental factors can have an adverse impact on people. The specific physical factors that limit performance will vary depending on both the work environment and individual differences. Those people who are working within an environment are the ones best able to identify factors that affect their work. It is important to involve these ‘hands-on’ people in consultations with supervisors, managers and occupational health and safety personnel when considering options for controlling the risks in question.

    Flow of work stations

    Since the early 1980’s, computer workstations have become an integral part of America’s work force. Millions of units are now in use and the numbers will continue to increase. The computer is comprised of a central processing unit, display monitor, keyboard and mouse. Components of the computer workstation may include the chair, desk, anti-glare screen, document holder, printer and any other equipment essential to working with computers.

    An increased number of computer workstations in the work place has resulted in health concerns related to vision and body aches and pains. Problems associated with computer workstations are generally temporary and can often be solved using simple corrective measures. This guide briefly discusses these concerns and addresses administrative controls (i.e., proper computer set up, monitor positioning, rest breaks and project assignment) and engineering or ergonomic controls (furniture design, lighting, glare control, computer workstation configuration and layout).

    Arrangement of equipment

    • Ergonomics
      Ergonomics is the study of the relationship between people, the equipment they use and the physical environment in which they work. Applying ergonomic principles to the design, modification and maintenance of workplace environments, has a benefit on people’s work performance and short- and long-term health and safety.

    The work area should be set up according to ergonomic design principles. For each task, the following should be considered: frequency and flow of work; materials and equipment required; and the priority of different tasks.

    Basic guidelines to follow in the design of the work area to enable the efficient management of tasks include:

    • importance — placing the most important items in the most advantageous or accessible locations
    • frequency of use — placing the most frequently used items within the easiest reach;
    • function — materials and equipment with closely related functions should be grouped together
    • sequence of use — materials and equipment that are commonly used in sequence should be grouped together
    • work/rest schedules — work tasks should be varied to change body position and mental activities
    • optimal positioning — positioning materials and equipment to reduce physical hazards and increase usability, e.g. placing a document holder in front of a person, if it is viewed more frequently than the monitor, eliminating glare on computer screens by positioning monitors parallel to light fittings and at right angles to windows

    Emotionally Safe Work Environment

    • 1. Diversity
    • 2. Discrimination
    • 3. Sexual harassment
    • 4. Non-threatening environment

    A hostile work environment is an environment in which an employee, due to actions by co-workers or the employer, does not feel comfortable performing duties. In extremely hostile work environments, the employee may not feel comfortable even coming into the work facility.

    Ideally, an individual’s work environment is one in which the employee is comfortable and one that fosters high levels of creativity and productivity. Such environments can lead to feelings of self-fulfillment for employees and can increase revenue for the employer. However, sometimes work environments make employees feel uncomfortable rather than safe, creative or needed. Such work environments should be remedied so that employees can maintain their physical, mental and emotional health while on the job.

    A work environment may be considered hostile when co-workers or an employer makes lewd jokes or touches inappropriately (sexual harassment), or when co-workers or an employer makes unwanted comments about an employee’s age, gender, race or physical or mental competence. Even if the majority of the co-workers have no problem with the actions or comments, a work environment can be considered hostile if the actions or comments clearly make an employee uncomfortable in the workplace.

    Physical Hostility

    • A hostile work environment usually refers to a work environment that makes an employee emotionally and mentally unable to perform work-related tasks. However, a hostile work environment also can refer to a work environment in which an employee is threatened physically. This can include outright acts of violence, or an employee being forced by an employer to do physical tasks that may put the employee’s health at risk.
    • A hostile work environment may also be created when management acts in a manner designed to make an employee quit in retaliation for some action. For example, if an employee reported safety violations at work, was injured, attempted to join a union, or reported regulatory violations by management, then their response might be to harass and pressure the employee to quit. Employers have tried to force employees to quit by imposing unwarranted discipline, reducing hours, cutting wages, or transferring the complaining employee to a distant work location. The employer and the employee often mistakenly believe that if the employee quits his or her job, the employee cannot get unemployment benefits and cannot sue the employer. Neither is true.

    Are You a Teen Worker?

    • You’re earning your own money. You’re making new friends. You’re learning new things and becoming independent. Work can be a fun, rewarding, and an exciting part of your life. But did you know that your job could harm you?
    • Every 9 minutes, a U.S. teen gets hurt on the job. These teens are young people like Emily, who was working alone at a sandwich shop when a robber with a gun attacked her. And they’re like Joe, a construction helper who was electrocuted on his job.
    • This guide gives you the facts you need to stay safe and healthy at work. It also shows you what jobs you can (and can’t do), and it teaches you about your rights and responsibilities as a young worker.
      http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2011-184/pdfs/2011-184.pdf

    Legalities

    • Those who are exposed to a hostile work environment have the legal right to sue their employer. However, those who wish to sue must report any incidences related to the hostile work environment within 45 days of the incident. An individual has a better chance of winning a hostile work environment lawsuit when he does not respond negatively to the hostility and is not hostile in return.
    • The United States Supreme Court stated in Oncale v. Sundowner Offshore Services, that Title VII is “not a general civility code.” Thus, federal law does not prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not extremely serious. Rather, the conduct must be so objectively offensive as to alter the conditions of the individual’s employment. The conditions of employment are altered only if the harassment culminates in a tangible employment action or are sufficiently severe or pervasive.

    Emergency and Disaster Plans in the Workplace

    Emergency plans in the workplace are usually posted in a designated area in the office and reviewed by management so workers are aware of procedures to follow if an emergency or disaster occurs. The Department of Labor and fifteen other federal agencies have partnered with FEMA to create a web resource, DisasterAssistance.gov at http://www.disasterassistance.gov that consolidates information about federally funded government assistance to disaster victims.

    DisasterAssistance.gov will help users to:

    • identify the forms of assistance and qualification requirements
    • allow users to check the status of their applications online
    • provide information about forms of assistance available through other agencies that do not have online applications at this time
      Users can register on the FEMA website at http://www.fema.gov/disaster-survivor-assistance to apply for individual assistance and Small Business Administration loans. In the event of natural disasters, the Department of Labor support includes income and job assistance as well as key announcements.

    Employers’ Guide to Including Employees with Disabilities in Emergency Evacuation Plans

    Recruiting, Hiring, Retaining and Promoting People with Disabilities: A Resource Guide for Employers, explains employers’ legal obligation to develop emergency evacuation plans and how to include employees with disabilities in developing these plans.
    https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/employing_people_with_disabilities_toolkit_february_3_2015_v4.pdf

    Handouts/Graphic Organizers

    Module 5 handouts

    • How to Recognize 7 Personality Types in Office Politics
    • Workplace Evaluation

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Research the top office personality types using the handout How to Recognize 7 Personality Types in Office Politics. Have students observe individuals on the job to try and recognize and then determine how best to manage this type of individual on the job.
    • Review and evaluate the technical summary of the employee workplace evaluation. The employee Workplace Evaluation helps an organization determine how well it brings out the best in its employees from two different respondent group perspectives (managers and employees). Examine the school workplace (or another worksite) based on the criterion in this summary and discuss the outcomes.
    • Watch the movie “The Soloist” about a mentally ill musician to learn about the challenges of working in community services and mental health careers. Discuss the work environment when dealing with the homeless or the mentally ill in poverty stricken situations. What are the greatest challenges and rewards? What job skills are necessary to be successful?
    • The training toolkit consists of two modules that address bullying in classrooms. It is designed to assist teachers in cultivating meaningful relationships with students while creating a positive climate in the classroom. http://safesupportiveschools.ed.gov/index.php?id=1480
    • Develop scenarios of natural disasters which include the challenge of a disabled person confronting a disaster in the workplace. Divide the class into groups and have each group determine an action plan for the scenario they are given, including evacuation from the work site and any pertinent health issues of the worker in the scenario. A review of school emergency policies may be a good place to start.

    References and Resources

    Textbook

    • Lee, J. S. (1971). Evaluating the Work Environment—A National Data Collection System, 32,(3), American Industrial Hygiene Association Journal.
    • “Alternative Keyboards & Accessories” Typing Injury FAQ, Wright, K.S. & Wallach, D.S., 1997
    • “Arranging Your Workstation to Fit You” VDT Ergonomics, By Krames Communications, 1993
    • “Computer Health and Safety” The Industrial Commission of Ohio-Division of Safety and Hygiene
    • “Eye Protection For Video Display Terminal Operators” The Industrial Commission of Ohio-Division of Safety and Hygiene
    • “In Search of an Ideal Seated Posture” Focus On Ergonomic Seating, by Mark Taylor, July/August
      1996
    • “Learn How To Limit Risks From Computers” National Safety Council Newsletter-Campus Safety,
      May/June 1991

    Websites

    • Habitat for Humanity
      Habitat for Humanity is an international organization that builds and renovates housing for low income people.
      http://www.habitat.org
    • Travelers Aid International
      A network of local agencies that provide information and assistance to thousands of travelers, homeless, runaway youth and others.
      http://www.travelersaid.org
    • How to Perform CPR – Martha Stewart
      Lipica Shah of the Red Cross demonstrates the correct way to perform CPR, one of the essential how-tos in Martha’s “20 More Things Everyone Should Know” series.
      http://youtu.be/K60R76l-0g4

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. Physical environmental factors can have an adverse impact on people. The specific physical factors that limit performance will vary depending on both the work environment and individual differences but will include ___________________________________________________________.

    • a. lighting, noise and smell
    • b. office politics
    • c. manufacturing procedures
    • d. clearance, arm reach, posture and strength

    2. Each employee should be conscious of their health in their work environment and record any pain, discomfort, injury or illness that they believe is work-related. This information should be reported to _______________.

    • a. OSHA
    • b. coworkers
    • c. supervisors
    • d. family members

    3. Noise, lighting, ventilation, radiation, and vibrations are all potential _____________________ that should be considered in the workplace.

    • a. office properties
    • b. environmental hazards
    • c. ethical problems
    • d. environmental ergonomics

    4. The work area should be set up according to _____________ design principles. For each task, the following should be considered: frequency and flow of work; materials and equipment required; and the priority of different tasks

    • a. feng shui
    • b. osha
    • c. interior
    • d. ergonomic

    5. The risk associated with each hazard can be controlled by implementing the following hierarchy of controls:

    • a. redesigning the workplace layout to reduce risks
    • b. eliminating the risk from the workplace
    • c. substituting a material in the workplace environment with a less hazardous one
    • d. all of the above

    6. A hostile work environment usually refers to a work environment that makes an employee emotionally and mentally unable to perform work-related tasks. However, a hostile work environment also can refer to a work environment in which an employee is _________________________.

    • a. threatened physically
    • b. threatened verbally
    • c. isolated in an office
    • d. works from home

    7. Employers’ have legal obligation to develop emergency evacuation plans and how to include employees with _____________________ in developing these plans

    • a. heavy work loads
    • b. disabilities
    • c. no windows in their offices
    • d. no offices

  • VI. Business Tools, Equipment, and Procedures

    TEKS Addressed

    (3) The student uses business tools or procedures to create human services information and facilitate client interactions.

    • (A) manage numerical information such as using a calculator to add, subtract, multiply or divide accurately
    • (B) perform complex calculations accurately
    • (C) use appropriate electronic resources to access current information
    • (D) use word-processing, database, spreadsheet or presentation software to manage data
    • (E) practice e-mail applications to communicate within a workplace
    • (F) use specialized software to prepare needed documents accurately

    (8) The student selects and uses appropriate business procedures and equipment to produce satisfying client outcomes and business success.

    • (A) manage funds using appropriate technology
    • (B) place orders for customers and supplies using sound business practices

    Business Tools, Equipment and Procedures is the sixth unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains three TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Correct Use of Tools and Equipment
      1. Calculator
      2. Computer; software
      3. Job-specific tools and equipment
    • B. Business Procedures and Documents
      1. Letters, reports, memos, ledgers and media presentations
      2. Orders and billing
      3. Files
    • C. Communication Tools
      1. E-mail
      2. Telephone
      3. Video and teleconference
      4. Internet
      5. Headsets
      6. E-commerce

    Refer to lesson Show Yourself Off: Write a Résumé! for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/show-yourself-off-write-a-resume-4

    Refer to lesson Mathematical Applications in Human Services for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/mathematical-applications-in-human-services

    Refer to lesson Business Procedures, Equipment and Technology for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/business-procedures-equipment-and-technology

    Refer to lesson Technology Skills and the Workplace for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/technology-skills-and-the-workplace

    Correct Use of Tools and Equipment

    1. Calculator
    Students must be able to manage numerical information such as using a calculator to add, subtract, multiply, or divide accurately and perform complex calculations accurately. There are lesson plans and activities on using a calculator at:
    http://educators.brainpop.com/bp-topic/using-a-calculator

    2. Computer; software
    Computers and software are a necessity today in homes, schools and businesses. People are able to perform many jobs and programs on the computer. We are able to use appropriate electronic resources to access current information using the World Wide Web. People can use word-processing, database, spreadsheet or presentation software to manage data. Social networks have replaced the practice of email applications to communicate within a workplace.
    We have the use specialized software to prepare needed documents accurately.

    3. Job-specific tools and equipment
    Depending on the job, job title and skills of the student, will determine the extensive use of appropriate job-specific tools and equipment. The student should select and use appropriate business procedures and equipment to produce satisfying client outcomes and business success. He or she must manage funds using appropriate technology. Training is a must. He or she must also place orders for customers and supplies using sound business practices.

    Business Procedures and Documents

    A business process is only as good as the operating procedure supporting it. Your business can have every single process and activity modeled and documented, but if they are not supported by sound procedures, the process will eventually fail. With proper knowledge, transfer and documentation of your business procedures, you can ensure continuous productivity. What does the employee do if there is a problem? Do they have to “figure it out” on their own? What happens if a key employee is sick? What if that employee transfers, retires or simply leaves the company?

    • Maintaining process flow and business continuity can be controlled with a core set of operating procedures. The knowledge behind these procedures exist within each of your employees and can be successfully captured and documented.

    Why does your business need to develop and document processes and procedures?

    • Communication continuity
    • Repeatability
    • Business governance
    • Education
    • Risk compliance
    • Process support
    • Government requirements

    What are the benefits of policy, procedure and process documentation?

    • Improved Customer Satisfaction
    • Reduced costs
    • Decrease cycle times
    • Increased Quality

    • Many companies have existing policies, processes and procedures documented; however the most common problem is that these documents be easily located by everyone that needs them at the moment that they need them. If the documentation can’t be found when it is required, it is useless. The delivery solution you choose will make the documentation that is needed available to the right person at the right time.
    • Policies, protocols and procedures are an unwelcome essential for most companies. Taking up precious time, policy writing is often disheartening for the poor author who spends a week writing a required policy which ultimately ends up at the bottom of a filing cabinet, barely read.
    As unwelcome as they are, most policies are written because they are essential for the company to function effectively, or to grow. Nowadays, most business tenders will require a full suite of effective policies and procedures, and to gain corporate accreditation for one specialism or another, policies need to be in place. Health and Safety, Human Resources, Legal, Business and Operational policies are also imperative to employees as they provide the parameters within which routine working life can take place.

    1. Reports, memos, ledgers, and media presentations
    Boil it down and etiquette is really all about making people feel good. It’s not about rules or telling people what to do, or not to do. It’s about ensuring some basic social comforts. So here are a few business etiquette rules that matter now—whatever you want to call them.

    Send a Thank you note

    • The art of the thank you note should never die. If you have a job interview, or if you’re visiting clients or meeting new business partners—especially if you want the job, or the contract or deal—take the time to write a note. You’ll differentiate yourself by doing so and it will reflect well on your company too.

    Know the names

    • It’s just as important to know your peers or employees as it is to develop relationships with clients, vendors or management. Reach out to people in your company, regardless of their roles, and acknowledge what they do.
      We spend too much of our time these days looking up – impressing senior management. But it’s worth stepping back and acknowledging and getting to know all of the integral people who work hard to make your business run.

    Observe the ‘elevator rule’

    • When meeting with clients or potential business partners off-site, don’t discuss your impressions of the meeting with your colleagues until the elevator has reached the bottom floor and you’re walking out of the building. That’s true even if you’re the only ones in the elevator. Call it superstitious or call it polite—but either way, don’t risk damaging your reputation by rehashing the conversation as soon as you walk away.

    Focus on the face, not the screen

    • It’s hard not to be distracted these days. We have a plethora of devices to keep us occupied; emails and phone calls come through at all hours; and we all think we have to multitask to feel efficient and productive. But that’s not true, When you’re in a meeting or listening to someone speak, turn off the phone. Don’t check your email. Pay attention and be present.

    Don’t judge

    • We all have our vices—and we all have room for improvement. One of the most important parts of modern-day etiquette is not to criticize others. You may disagree with how another person handles a specific situation, but rise above and recognize that everyone is trying their best. It’s not your duty to judge others based on what you feel is right. You are only responsible for yourself.

    We live in a world where both people and businesses are concerned about brand awareness. Individuals want to stand out and be liked and accepted by their peers—both socially and professionally.

    The digital landscape has made it even more difficult to know whether or not you’re crossing a line, but I think it’s simple. Etiquette is positive. It’s a way of being—not a set of rules or dos and don’ts.

    So before you create that hashtag, post on someone’s Facebook page or text someone mid-meeting, remember the fundamentals: Will this make someone feel good? And remember the elemental act of putting pen to paper and writing a note. You’ll make a lasting impression that a shout-out on Twitter or a Facebook wall mention can’t even touch.

    Rules for Writing Good Letters/Memorandums

    Spell names correctly

    • If you can’t find out any other way, call the office of the person to whom you are writing. When in doubt, use Ms. — don’t guess a woman’s marital status.

    Use correct addresses

    • Follow the guidelines for addressing envelopes from the U.S. Postal Service.

    Include only one topic per letter

    • Know the purpose and write to that purpose.
    • Keep the reading time under 1.5 minutes.

    Be courteous and considerate of the reader

    • Respect readers as people and professionals.
    • Use praise, but not flattery.
    • Don’t exaggerate — maintain trust.

    Write a great first sentence

    • Get to the point.
    • Let the reader know if the letter is a reply to their correspondence.
    • Example (from a letter soliciting funds for UNICEF):
    • “In the ten seconds it took you to open and begin to read this letter, four children died from the effects of malnutrition or disease somewhere in the world.”

    Stop when you’re through

    • Avoid “call if you have questions” types of endings.
    • Can include a personal note if you are close friends.

    Highlight important words/points

    • Use underlining.
    • Use boldface type.
    • Use italics.
    • Use larger font sizes
    • Use ALL CAPS, but use them sparingly.

    Use standard English

    • Avoid telescoping sentences.
    • Avoid incomplete sentences.
    • Use correct grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

    Edit and rewrite

    • Avoid having all paragraphs the same length.
    • Use short and varied sentences. Keep the average sentence length between 7 and 17 words.
    • Avoid jargon (terms that are highly technical and understood by only a few people).
    • Avoid flowery terms (magnificent, exceptional).
    • Use active voice.
    • Use short words.

    Follow the seven C’s – Each letter/memorandum should be:

    • conversational
    • clear
    • concise
    • complete
    • concrete
    • constructive
    • correct

    2. Orders and billing
    Whether its a prescription in the healthcare field, an order for a product online, supplies for an office or disbursement of a government manual, orders and billings are a part of Human Services. Each specific industry and office have a structure in place for managing the orders and billing process. Errors can be costly and new employees are expected to listen carefully, follow instructions and ask questions to clarify in order to avoid problems.

    3. Files
    Numerous software packages are available today to help businesses manage the volumes of files associated with various industries in the Human Services area. While paper files are still a function of many offices, electronic data is a strong trend. With any change comes challenges. Storing electronic files, while requiring less space requires exceptional security and care to avoid loss of important data. In the last few years we have heard about the accidental release of private data of patients and students due to human error. Employees must take time to learn the system within the company and check and recheck to avoid errors.

    Communication Tools

    1. E-mail
    It is important that whether for business or personal use that you follow the basics of email etiquette. This document covers for you the top tips for email etiquette that everyone needs to be aware of and follow. By doing so you will be a joy to communicate with while being perceived as a caring and intelligent human being.

    Sending Emails

    • Make sure your e-mail includes a courteous greeting and closing. This helps to make your e-mail not seem demanding or terse.
    • Address your contact with the appropriate level of formality and make sure you spelled their name correctly.
    • Spell check – emails with typos are simply not taken as seriously.
    • Read your email out loud to ensure the tone is that which you desire. Try to avoid relying on formatting for emphasis; rather choose the words that reflect your meaning instead. A few additions of the words “please” and “thank you” go a long way!
    • Be sure you are including all relevant details or information necessary to understand your request or point of view. Generalities can many times cause confusion and unnecessary back and forth.
    • Are you using proper sentence structure? First word capitalized with appropriate punctuation? Multiple instances of !!! or ??? are perceived as rude or condescending.
    • If your email is emotionally charged, walk away from the computer and wait to reply. Review the Sender’s email again so that you are sure you are not reading anything into the email that simply isn’t there.
    • If sending attachments, did you ask first when would be the best time to send? Did you check file size to make sure you don’t fill the other side’s inbox causing all subsequent e-mail to bounce?
    • Refrain from using the Reply to All feature to give your opinion to those who may not be interested. In most cases, replying to the Sender alone is your best course of action.
    • Make one last check that the address or addresses in the To: field are those you wish to send your reply to.
    • Be sure your name is reflected properly in the From: field. Jane A. Doe (not jane, jane doe or JANE DOE).
    • Type in complete sentences. To type random phrases or cryptic thoughts does not lend to clear communication.
    • Never assume the intent of an email. If you are not sure — ask so as to avoid unnecessary misunderstandings.
    • Just because someone doesn’t ask for a response doesn’t mean you ignore them. Always acknowledge emails from those you know in a timely manner.
    • Be sure the Subject: field accurately reflects the content of your email.
    • Don’t hesitate to say thank you, how are you, or appreciate your help!
    • Keep emails brief and to the point. Save long conversations for the old fashioned telephone.
    • Always end your emails with “Thank you,” “Sincerely,” “Take it easy,” “Best regards” – something!

    Formatting Emails

    • Do not type in all caps. That’s yelling or reflects shouting emphasis.
    • If you bold your type, know you are bolding your statement and it will be taken that way by the other side – X10!
    • Do not use patterned backgrounds. Makes your email harder to read.
    • Stay away from fancy fonts — only the standard fonts are on all computers.
    • Use emoticons sparingly to ensure your tone and intent are clear.
    • Typing your emails in all small case gives the perception of lack of education or laziness.
    • Refrain from using multiple font colors in one email. It makes your email harder to view and can add to your intent being misinterpreted.
    • Use formatting sparingly. Instead try to rely on choosing the most accurate words possible to reflect your tone and avoid misunderstandings in the process.

    Email Attachments

    • When sending large attachments, always “zip” or compress them before sending.
    • Never send large attachments without notice! Always ask what would be the best time to send them first.
    • Learn how to re-sample or re-size graphics to about 600 pixels in width before attaching them to an email. This will greatly reduce download time.
    • Never open an attachment from someone you don’t know.
    • Be sure your virus, adware and spyware programs are up to date and include scanning of your emails and attachments both incoming and outgoing.
    • It is better to spread multiple attachments over several emails rather than attaching them all to one email to avoid clogging the pipeline.
    • Make sure the other side has the same software as you before sending attachments or they may not be able to open your attachment. Use PDF when possible.

    To, From, CC, BCc, RR, Subject

    • Only use Cc: when it is important for those you Cc: to know about the contents of the email. Overuse can cause your emails to be ignored.
    • Don’t use Return Receipt (RR) on every single email. Doing so is viewed as intrusive, annoying and can be declined by the other side anyway.
    • Include addresses in the To: field for those who you would like a response from.
    • Include addresses in the Cc: field for those who you are just FYI’ing.
    • Make sure your name is displayed properly in the From: field.
    • Remove addresses from the To:, CC; and BCc: field that don’t need to see your reply.
    • Always include a brief Subject. No subject can get your email flagged as spam.
    • Think about your motives when adding addresses to To:, CC:, BCc. Use your discretion.
    • Never expose your friend’s or contact’s email address to strangers by listing them all in the To: field. Use BCc:!
    • Make sure when using BCc: that your intentions are proper. To send BCc: copies to others as a way of talking behind someone’s back is inconsiderate.

    Email Forwarding

    • Don’t forward emails that say to do so—no matter how noble the cause may be. Most are hoaxes or hooey and may not be appreciated by those you send to.
    • If someone asks you to refrain from forwarding emails they have that right and you shouldn’t get mad or take it personally.
    • When forwarding email, if you cannot take the time to type a personal comment to the person you are forwarding to—then don’t bother.
    • Don’t forward anything without editing out all the forwarding >>>>, other email addresses, headers and commentary from all the other forwarders.
    • If you must forward to more than one person, put your email address in the TO: field and all the others you are sending to in the BCc: field to protect their email address from being published to those they do not know. This is a serious privacy issue!
    • Be careful when forwarding email on political or controversial issues. The recipient may not appreciate your point of view.

    Email and Perception, Privacy, Copyright

    • Choose your email address wisely. It will determine, in part, how you are perceived.
    • Try not to make assumptions when it comes to email. Always ask for clarification before you react.
    • Posting or forwarding of private email is copyright infringement — not to mention downright rude. You need permission from the author first!
    • Even though it isn’t right; emails are forwarded to others. Keep this in mind when typing about emotional or controversial topics.
    • When there is a misunderstanding by email, don’t hesitate to pick up the old fashioned telephone to work things out!
    • Know that how you type, and the efforts you make or don’t make will indicate what is important to you and if you are an educated courteous person.
    • If you forward an email that turns out to be a hoax, have the maturity to send an apology follow up email to those you sent the misinformation to.
    • When filling out a contact form on a Web site, do so carefully and with clarity so your request is taken seriously.
    • If a friend puts your e-mail address in the To: field with others you do not know, ask them to no longer expose your address to strangers without your permission.

    Business Email

    • Think of your business email as though it was on your business letterhead and you’ll never go wrong!
    • If you cannot respond to an email promptly, at the very least email back confirming your receipt and when the sender can expect your response.
    • Emailing site owners about your product or service through the site form is still spam. Ask them if they want more info first!
    • When replying to emails, always respond promptly and edit out unnecessary information from the post you are responding to.
    • Formality is in place as a courtesy and reflects respect. Assume the highest level of formality with new email contacts until the relationship dictates otherwise. Refrain from getting too informal too soon in your email communications.
    • Never send anyone an email they need to unsubscribe from when they didn’t subscribe in the first place!
    • Be very careful how you use Reply to All and Cc: in a business environment. Doing so to subtlety tattle can backfire and have you viewed as petty or insecure.
    • When replying to an email with multiple recipients noted in the To: or Cc: fields, remove the addresses of those who your reply does not apply to.
    • Never send business attachments outside of business hours and confirm that the format in which you can send can be opened by the other side.

    2. Telephone
    Presenting a professional image, both in person and on the telephone, is very important in the Human Services profession. Taking care of your customers over the telephone and making them feel well informed and appreciated is essential. Whether you are the front office receptionist or an executive secretary or customer service, the following phone tips should always be followed.

    • Speak clearly. A picture paints a thousand words but the caller on the other end of the phone can only hear you. They cannot see your face or body language. Therefore, taking the time to speak clearly, slowly and in a cheerful, professional voice is very important.
    • Use your normal tone of voice when answering a call. If you have a tendency to speak loud or shout, avoid doing so on the telephone.
    • Do not eat or drink while you are on telephone duty. Only eat or drink during your coffee break or lunch break.
    • Do not use slang words or poor language. Respond clearly with “yes” or “no” when speaking. Never use swear words.
    • Address the caller properly by his or her title. (i.e. Good morning Mr. Brown, Good afternoon Ms. Sanders). Never address an unfamiliar caller by his or her first name.
    • Listen to the caller and what they have to say. It is always a good habit to repeat the information back to the client when you are taking a message. Verify that you have heard and transcribed the message accurately.
    • Be patient and helpful. If a caller is irate or upset, listen to what they have to say and then refer them to the appropriate resource. Never snap back or act rude to the caller.
    • Always ask if you can put the caller on hold. If you are responsible for answering multiple calls at once, always ask the caller politely if you may put them on hold. Remember that the caller could have already waited several minutes before getting connected to you and may not take lightly to being put on hold. Never leave the person on hold for more than a few seconds or they may become upset and hang up.
    • Always focus on the call. Try not to get distracted by people around you. If someone tries to interrupt you while you are on a call, politely remind them that you are on a customer call and that you will be with them as soon as you are finished.

    Making Calls

    • Always identify yourself properly. When calling a client or customer, whether in person or when leaving a message, always identify yourself properly by providing your name, company name and contact telephone number. For example, “Good afternoon Mr. Brown, this is Ms. Brown from Officeskills.org. My telephone number is 408-555-1212.” Always be aware of confidential information when leaving messages. Also, be aware of people around you while talking on the phone. Be discreet! Someone next to you might overhear confidential information that could negatively affect your business.

    • Avoid leaving long-winded messages. Remember, someone has to listen to your message, write it down and then act upon it. Your message may be just one of many messages that need to be handled. It is often a good habit to write down or type out your message in advance. Keep it brief and to the point.

    3. Video and teleconference

    Videoconferencing is the conduct of a video conference (also known as a video conference or video teleconference) by a set of telecommunication technologies which allow two or more locations to communicate by simultaneous two-way video and audio transmissions. It has also been called ‘visual collaboration’ and is a type of groupware.

    Videoconferencing differs from videophone calls in that it’s designed to serve a conference or multiple locations rather than individuals. It is an intermediate form of video telephony, first deployed commercially in the United States by AT&T Corporation during the early 1970s as part of their development of Picture phone technology.

    With the introduction of relatively low cost, high capacity broadband telecommunication services in the late 1990s, coupled with powerful computing processors and video compression techniques, videoconferencing usage has made significant inroads in business, education, medicine and media. Like all long distance communications technologies (such as phone and Internet), by reducing the need to travel to bring people together the technology also contributes to reductions in carbon emissions, thereby helping to reduce global warming

    4. Internet
    Netiquette is a term derived from the words “Internet Etiquette” or “Network Etiquette” which describes the use of proper manners and behavior online. Internet etiquette should be used in all areas of electronic means including email, chatting, blogging, forums, message boards, and so on.

    It is important to treat others with dignity and respect both on and offline. Although the rules may vary depending on the specific forum used, the following Top Ten Netiquette guidelines will offer some basic Internet tips and suggestions to provide a pleasant and safe online experience.

    Netiquette Guidelines for a Safe Online Experience

    • Use Computer Courtesy – Whether a person is sending an email, chatting in a chat room or speaking in a forum, it is important to be courteous and respectful of others online. Always remember the Golden Rule!
    • Use Emotions – When communicating online, it can be difficult to gauge a writer’s emotion. Unless a web camera or microphone is used, the writer’s expression or emotion is difficult to determine. By using emotions, the writer’s proper emotion will be conveyed to the reader.
    • Be Brief Online – It is important to keep messages short, especially when writing an email or typing in a chat room. By using common chat abbreviations or acronyms, not only will the reader appreciate the brevity of the message, it will save the author valuable time typing the message. Remember, keep it short and be brief!
    • DON’T SHOUT – No matter what forum, writing in all capital letters is considered SHOUTING and is considered very rude. A word or two in caps is fine, but shouting is not recommended.
    • Pay Attention to Language Issues – Improper, inappropriate or bad language may get a participant kicked out or permanently banned from a forum or group. It is also important to remember people from other countries may be participating in the conversation and language barriers may be an issue.
    • Think Before Posting – It is important to note, what is posted online today, may come back and haunt the writer tomorrow. That silly or fun photograph posted on a social networking site, may keep that person from getting a job later on. Many colleges and employers are now searching social networking sites prior to hiring.
    • Keep Personal Information Private – Posting private and personal information in the wrong location can have serious consequences. Identity theft is a rapidly growing concern. Divulging too much information could give predators and those with bad intentions valuable information. Be careful where personal information is posted. If private information is posted in a group setting, read the guidelines prior to posting. Children should not post private information online
    • Obey Copyright Laws – Obey copyright laws. Don’t steal!
    • Help Internet Newbies – Be patient and helpful with others. Remember, everyone was a newbie once.
    • Be Aware of Cyberbullying – Cyberbullying or electronic bullying continues to be an increasing problem. Parents should talk honestly and openly to children about the issues of electronic bullying. Studies suggest most children do NOT tell a trusted adult if they are a victim of electronic bullying. If targeted by a cyberbully, do not respond. Keep all ORIGINAL correspondence, with dates and times if possible. If the messages are of a threatening nature or safety is a concern, contact local law enforcement as soon as possible.

    Cyberbullying
    Bullying; it’s a term that conjures up all sorts of negative images and bad memories. Back in the day, bullying was something most were aware of. It normally happened to or from school, out in the playground or in the school cafeteria. The unlucky victim was constantly on the lookout for the thug who wanted to steal money, take lunches, or make life just plain miserable for the victim. But once the victim made it to the classroom or made it home, the bully could no longer cause harm, at least for the time being. Today the tactics, the methods and the means of bullying are changing, and changing rapidly. Bullying has taken on a new frontier-the Internet.

    Cyberbullying is the use of electronic information and communication technologies (which include email, websites, text messaging, web logs or blogs, three-way calling, cell phones, photographs, videos, or any other electronic means) to repeatedly willfully and intentionally embarrass, intimidate, humiliate, threaten or harass another.

    Studies suggest that cyberbullying is on the rise, and is increasing rapidly. Most cyberbullying incidents occur while logged on at home, other incidents happen in chat rooms or via instant messaging. Many cyberbullying victims personally know the bully, while others do not.

    There are numerous issues concerning online bullying. As previously mentioned, in cases of traditional bullying, the victim had some respite, be it at home or in the classroom. At least there was a safety zone, a safe haven, somewhere. It is another matter for the target of cyberbullying. The target of electronic bullying can be targeted 24 hours a day, every day of the year, instantaneously. There is no safety zone for the cyberbully victim. In face-to-face bullying, there are usually one or two onlookers or witnesses, but with cyberbullying, there may be hundreds or thousands of onlookers, worldwide. Studies also suggest the affects of online bullying may be longer lasting than traditional bullying and may result in poor self-esteem, anger, depression, absenteeism, bad grades and even suicide.

    A key component in electronic bullying is the anonymity factor; online bullies are virtually anonymous. Since the online bully is anonymous, he or she may not face any consequences or punishment for his or her actions. The lack of immediate feedback, seeing someones face or expression, may make it easier to say or do hurtful things online one may not normally do in “real life”.

    Many victims do not tell anyone that they have been bullied online and there are several theories why children keep this to themselves. Some may fear that by telling a parent or adult, the parent may react by restricting access to that particular device, or by taking away the computer, cell phone or Internet accessibility entirely, hoping that the bullying may stop. Some children believe by involving an adult, it will make a bad situation even worse resulting in some form of online or offline retaliation. Others may think they just have to deal with it; it’s just the way it is.

    Some adults are unaware of cyberbullying. While others may think just because they have filtering or parental controls installed on their computer or device, some assume those “safeguards” will alleviate any and all Internet issues, including online bullying. Some adults may think that if their child is being bullied, the child will come to them and let them know. Studies suggest that is simply not the case.

    Children are not the only targets of electronic bullying. Educators, administrators and other adults are also being victimized. Bullying, whether it occurs offline or on, needs to be addressed.

    5. Headsets
    People wear a headset to free their hands while talking on the phone. Another reason to wear a headset is to listen to the conversation and hear it with no distractions from the noise in the room. Choose the type of headset most comfortable for your ear and wear it whenever you answer your phone.

    6. E-commerce
    Electronic commerce, commonly known as e-commerce, is the buying and selling of product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks. Electronic commerce draws on such technologies as electronic funds transfer, supply chain management, Internet marketing, online transaction processing, electronic data interchange (EDI), inventory management systems, and automated data collection systems. Modern electronic commerce typically uses the World Wide Web at least at one point in the transaction’s life-cycle, although it may encompass a wider range of technologies such as e-mail, mobile devices social media, and telephones as well.

    Electronic commerce is generally considered to be the sales aspect of e-business. It also consists of the exchange of data to facilitate the financing and payment aspects of business transactions.

    E-commerce can be divided into:

    • E-tailing or “virtual storefronts” on Web sites with online catalogs, sometimes gathered into a “virtual mall”
    • The gathering and use of demographic data through Web contacts and social media
    • Electronic Data Interchange (EDI), the business-to-business exchange of data
    • E-mail and fax and their use as media for reaching prospects and established customers (for example, with newsletters)

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Visit the human resources department in a human services company and go through a short training program conducted for employees regarding business tools used on the job.
    • Read the article on ecommerce trends and write down predictions for the next year. What facts can you base the predictions on? Have students write a one page paper on how ecommerce is used in the area of Human Services they are focused on. http://mashable.com/2012/07/10/ecommerce-trends/
    • Interview a manager in a government, medical, retail or personal service business to find out how the internet, ecommerce, video or teleconferencing and the computers are used in the business to assist customers or patients. What are the benefits, pitfalls of the internet? Does this speed up service or care? Write a report and share it with class.
    • Find examples of common types of letters written in business and personalize them to the career of your interest. Follow the guidelines for writing business communications and proofread for errors. Partner with another student and trade documents to check for proper etiquette and correct each others papers. Rewrite and keep for future reference.
    • Free IPad Apps
      Cashier
      Scans barcodes, takes payments, manage inventory, email receipts, track customers, run reports, and more! TEKS 3A, B, C, D, E, F, 8A, B
    • How does the internet innovate our connections and business practices. Watch this TED speaker Chris Anderson share Crowd Accelerated Innovation — a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print for our next generation. Conduct a discussion about how this could change the future of Human Services.
      http://www.ted.com/talks/chris_anderson_how_web_video_powers_global_innovation.html

    References and Resources

    Websites

    • eBay
      Founded in 1995, eBay is the world’s largest online marketplace. It also offers online commerce platforms, and online payment solutions (it owns PayPal) to individuals and businesses in the United States and internationally. In 2010, the total worth of goods sold on eBay was $62 billion. The company went public in 1998.
      http://www.ebay.com

    Office writing for free examples of letters and memos
    http://officewriting.com/

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. When writing office letters, if you don’t know their marital status just use

    • a. Mrs.
    • b. Ms.
    • c. Mr.
    • d. First name

    2. Proper phone etiquette includes

    • a. not eating or drinking while talking
    • b. no texting while talking
    • c. multi-tasking – there is a lot to do and they will never know
    • d. put them on speaker, the office mates won’t care

    3. What are the benefits of policy, procedure and process documentation?

    • a. faster hiring
    • b. increased quality, reduced costs
    • c. reduced employee numbers
    • d. no need to answer the phone

    4. Describes the use of proper manners and behavior online and should be used in all areas of electronic means including email, chatting, blogging, forums, message boards, and so on.

    • a. Etiquette
    • b. Netiquette
    • c. Tweeting
    • d. Emoticons

    5. Following email etiquette can be very important. If your email is emotionally charged,

    • a. let them know how you feel, don’t put up with any backtalk.
    • b. delete the email
    • c. walk away from the computer and wait to reply.
    • d. send it to your coworkers.

    6. The use of electronic information and communication technologies(which include email, websites, text messaging, web logs or blogs, three-way calling, cell phones, photographs, videos, or any other electronic means) to repeatedly willfully and intentionally embarrass, intimidate, humiliate, threaten, or harass another.

    • a. ecommerce
    • b. cyber mapping
    • c. blogging
    • d. cyberbullying

    7. This is the buying and selling of product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.

    • a. website
    • b. ecommerce
    • c. video conferencing
    • d. skype

  • VII. Business Economics

    TEKS Addressed

    (4) The student identifies how key organizational systems affect organizational performance and the quality of products and services.

    • (A) examine global context and all aspects of industries and careers
    • (B) apply principles of planning, design, development, and evaluation to accomplish long-range goals
    • (C) implement quality-control systems and practices to ensure quality products and services

    Business Economics is the seventh unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains seven TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Types of Economic Systems
    • B. Supply and Demand
    • C. Competition
    • D. Government Involvement
    • E. Types of Business Organizations
    • F. Structures within Each Business
    • G. Management of Products and Services

    Refer to lesson Business Economics in the Human Services Industry for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/business-economics-in-the-human-services-industry

    Types of Economic Systems

    An economic system is loosely defined as a country’s plan for its services, goods produced, and the exact way in which its economic plan is carried out. An economic system is a system for producing, distributing and consuming goods and services, including the combination of the various institutions, agencies, consumers, entities (or even sectors as described by some authors) that comprise the economic structure of a given society or community. It also includes how these various agencies and institutions are linked to one another, how information flows between them, and the social relations within the system (including property rights and the structure of management). A related concept is the mode of production.

    The economic system involves:

    • investments
    • production
    • the allocation of economic inputs
    • distribution of economic outputs
    • land availability
    • households (earnings and expenditure consumption of goods and services in an economy)
    • financial institutions
    • government policies

    It involves a set of institutions and their various social relations.

    Alternatively, it is the set of principles by which problems of economics are addressed, such as the economic problem of scarcity through allocation of finite productive resources. An economic system is composed of people, institutions, rules and relationships. For example, the convention of property, the institution of government, or the employee-employer relationship. Examples of contemporary economic systems include capitalist systems, socialist systems, and mixed economies. Among actual economic systems, distinctive methods of analysis have developed, such as socialist economics and Islamic economic jurisprudence. Today the dominant form of economic organization at the global level is based on capitalist mixed economies.

    The basic and general economic systems are:

    • Market economy (“hands off” systems, such as Laissez-faire capitalism)
    • Mixed economy (a hybrid that blends some aspects of both market and planned economies)
    • Planned economy (“hands on” systems, such as state socialism or state capitalism)
    • Traditional economy (a generic term for older economic systems)
    • Command (Centrally Planned) Economic Systems: (a generic term for older economic systems)
    • Participatory economics (a system where the production and distribution of goods is guided by public participation)
    • Gift economy (where an exchange is made without any explicit agreement for immediate or future rewards)
    • Barter economy (where goods and services are directly exchanged for other goods or services)

    What determines what type of economy a country has?
    The type of economy is determined by the extent of government involvement in economic decision making. The four most common economic systems are highlighted below.

    Traditional Economy

    • allocation of resources is based on rituals, habits, or customs
    • roles are defined by family
    • people work together for the common good      
    • little individual choice

    Free Market Economy

    • private ownership of property/resources      
    • business decisions are driven by the desire to earn a profit
    • there is a great deal of competition.
    • consumers have many choices

    Mixed Economy

    • individuals and businesses as decision makers for the private sector
    • government as decision maker for the public sector.
    • a greater government role than in a free market economy
    • most common economic system today —examples include England, Germany, and Russia

    Command Economy

    • central ownership of property/resource
    • centrally planned economy
    • lack of consumer choice      
    • examples: Cuba and Former Soviet Union

    Supply and Demand

    In microeconomics, supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in an economic equilibrium for price and quantity.

    The four basic laws of supply and demand are:

    • If demand increases and supply remains unchanged, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.
    • If demand decreases and supply remains unchanged, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
    • If demand remains unchanged and supply increases, a surplus occurs, leading to a lower equilibrium price.
    • If demand remains unchanged and supply decreases, a shortage occurs, leading to a higher equilibrium price.

    The determinants of supply are:

    • production costs, how much a good costs to be produced
    • the technology used in production, and/or technological advances
    • a good’s own price
    • firms’ expectations about future prices
    • number of suppliers

    The determinants of demand are:

    • income
    • tastes and preferences
    • prices of related goods and services
    • consumers’ expectations about future prices and incomes that can be checked
    • number of potential consumers

    Listen to Ray Anderson: The business logic of sustainability. At his carpet company, Ray Anderson has increased sales and doubled profits while turning the traditional “take / make / waste” industrial system on its head. In a gentle, understated way, he shares a powerful vision for sustainable commerce.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/ray_anderson_on_the_business_logic_of_sustainability.html

    Competition

    Competitiveness can be defined as the degree to which a nation can, under free and fair market conditions, produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets while at the same time maintaining or expanding the real incomes of its citizens.

    Government Involvement

    The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) helps Americans start, build and grow businesses through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. SBA’s mission is to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation. SBA achieves this mission through loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.

    Types of Business Organizations

    The most common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation. A more recent development to these forms of business is the limited liability company (LLC) and the limited liability partnership (LLP). Because each business form comes with different tax consequences, you will want to make your selection wisely and choose the structure that most closely matches your business’s needs.

    Sole Proprietorship

    • The simplest structure is the sole proprietorship, which usually involves just one individual who owns and operates the enterprise. If you intend to work alone, this structure may be the way to go.

    • The tax aspects of a sole proprietorship are appealing because the expenses and your income from the business are included on your personal income tax return, Form 1040. Your profits and losses are recorded on a form called Schedule C, which is filed with your 1040. The “bottom-line amount” from Schedule C is then transferred to your personal tax return. This is especially attractive because business losses you suffer may offset the income you have earned from your other sources.

    Partnership

    • If your business will be owned and operated by several individuals, you’ll want to take a look at structuring your business as a partnership. Partnerships come in two varieties: general partnerships and limited partnerships. In a general partnership, the partners manage the company and assume responsibility for the partnership’s debts and other obligations. A limited partnership has both general and limited partners. The general partners own and operate the business and assume liability for the partnership, while the limited partners serve as investors only; they have no control over the company and are not subject to the same liabilities as the general partners.

    • Unless you expect to have many passive investors, limited partnerships are generally not the best choice for a new business because of all the required filings and administrative complexities. If you have two or more partners who want to be actively involved, a general partnership would be much easier to form.
    • One of the major advantages of a partnership is the tax treatment it enjoys. A partnership does not pay tax on its income but “passes through” any profits or losses to the individual partners. At tax time, the partnership must file a tax return (Form 1065) that reports its income and loss to the IRS. In addition, each partner reports his or her share of income and loss on Schedule K-1 of Form 1065.

    Corporation

    • The corporate structure is more complex and expensive than most other business structures. A corporation is an independent legal entity, separate from its owners, and as such, it requires complying with more regulations and tax requirements.

    • The biggest benefit for a business owner who decides to incorporate is the liability protection he or she receives. A corporation’s debt is not considered that of its owners, so if you organize your business as a corporation, you are not putting your personal assets at risk. A corporation also can retain some of its profits without the owner paying tax on them.
    • Another plus is the ability of a corporation to raise money. A corporation can sell stock, either common or preferred, to raise funds. Corporations also continue indefinitely, even if one of the shareholders dies, sells the shares or becomes disabled. The corporate structure, however, comes with a number of downsides. A major one is higher costs. Corporations are formed under the laws of each state with its own set of regulations. You will probably need the assistance of an attorney to guide you. In addition, because a corporation must follow more complex rules and regulations than a partnership or sole proprietorship, it requires more accounting and tax preparation services.
    • Another drawback to forming a corporation: Owners of the corporation pay a double tax on the business’s earnings. Not only are corporations subject to corporate income tax at both the federal and state levels, but any earnings distributed to shareholders in the form of dividends are taxed at individual tax rates on their personal income tax returns.

    S Corporation

    • The S corporation is more attractive to small-business owners than a regular (or C) corporation. That’s because an S corporation has some appealing tax benefits and still provides business owners with the liability protection of a corporation. With an S corporation, income and losses are passed through to shareholders and included on their individual tax returns. As a result, there’s just one level of federal tax to pay.

    • In addition, owners of S corporations who don’t have inventory can use the cash method of accounting, which is simpler than the accrual method. Under this method, income is taxable when received and expenses are deductible when paid.

    Limited Liability Company

    • Limited liability companies, often referred to as “Lacs,” have been around since 1977, but their popularity among entrepreneurs is a relatively recent phenomenon. An LLC is a hybrid entity, bringing together some of the best features of partnerships and corporations.

    • LLCs were created to provide business owners with the liability protection that corporations enjoy without the double taxation. Earnings and losses pass through to the owners and are included on their personal tax returns.
    • Sound similar to an S corporation? It is, except that an LLC offers business owners even more attractions than an S corporation. For example, there is no limitation on the number of shareholders an LLC can have, unlike an S corporation, which has a limit of 100 shareholders. In addition, any member or owner of the LLC is allowed a full participatory role in the business’s operation; in a limited partnership, on the other hand, partners are not permitted any say in the operation.

    Structures within Each Business

    Every organization should have a defined organizational structure. A well thought out and strategic structure helps support good processes for communication and clarifies lines of authority and reporting relationships to assure that work processes flow in a defined process. An organizational structure would show lines of authority and reporting relationships. Having this mapped out helps to ensure efficient work flow and project management as well as elimination of duplicate systems and processes.

    Management of Products and Services

    Jason Clay: How big brands can help save biodiversity- Convince just 100 key companies to go sustainable, and WWF’s Jason Clay says global markets will shift to protect the planet our consumption has already outgrown.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/jason_clay_how_big_brands_can_save_biodiversity.html

    Eleni Gabre-Madhin on Ethiopian economics- Economist Eleni Gabre-Madhin outlines her ambitious vision to found the first commodities market in Ethiopia.
    http://www.ted.com/talks/elene_gabre_madhin_on_ethiopian_economics.html

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Analyze the concepts of supply and demand with a short survey to a group of students about lunch menu choices. Determine on a given day what choices are available and the preferences of the students. Does the supply meet the demand? How can this be balanced? Have students create their own supply and demand graph to see if the results fit in the area of equilibrium.
    • Invite a business owner to speak about the type of business he runs and the pros and cons of the company structure. What are the challenges of running a business in a global economy? How would the company change if the structure was different?

    References and Resources

    Quotes

    There will be hunters and hunted, winners and losers. What counts in global competition is the right strategy and success.
    -Heinrich von Pierer

    A competitive world offers two possibilities. You can lose. Or, if you want to win, you can change.
    -Lester Thurow

    Websites

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. In a Traditional economy there is ________________

    • a. a greater government role than in a free market economy
    • b. a great deal of competition
    • c. central ownership of property/resource
    • d. little individual choice

    2. Determined by the extent of government involvement in economic decision making.

    • a. type of currency used in a country
    • b. type of leaders in a country
    • c. type of economy in a country
    • d. none of the above

    3. Involves investments, production, the allocation of economic inputs, distribution of economic outputs, land availability, households, financial institutions and government policies.

    • a. economic system
    • b. social system
    • c. barter system
    • d. government structure

    4. In the report “Results of the U.S. President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness” by John A. Young, one of the key findings was _____________

    • a. the report is flawed and the study needs to be repeated
    • b. the most serious challenge for the world economy in the years ahead lies in making globalization compatible with domestic social and political stability.
    • c. America is not able to meet its current supply and demand
    • d. We must be able to compete if we are going to meet our national goals of a rising standard of living and strong national security for our people.

    5. Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in

    • a. the decline of a nation’s ability to compete
    • b. economic equilibrium for price and quantity
    • c. sustainable commerce
    • d. consumers’ expectations about future prices and incomes that can be checked

    6. The most common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation. In selecting the best business structure, careful analysis is important because

    • a. you will have to hire an attorney for some types
    • b. the business may not be successful
    • c. each business form comes with different tax consequences
    • d. none of the above

    7. The degree to which a nation can, under free and fair market conditions, produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets while at the same time maintaining or expanding the real incomes of its citizens.

    • a. manufacturing
    • b. fair trade
    • c. competition
    • d. stock market fluctuations

  • VIII. Portfolio

    TEKS Addressed

    (9) The student documents technical knowledge and skills.

    • (A) update a professional portfolio to include
      • (i) attainment of technical skill competencies
      • (ii) licensures or certifications
      • (iii) recognitions, awards and scholarships
      • (iv) extended learning experiences such as community service and active participation in career and technical student organizations and professional organizations
      • (v) abstract of key points of the practicum
      • (vi) résumé
      • (vii) samples of work
      • (viii) evaluation from the practicum supervisor

    • (B) present the portfolio to all interested stakeholders such as in a slide or poster presentation

    Portfolio is the eighth unit of study in the Practicum of Human Services course. This section contains two TEA units of study that include:

    • A. Produce Portfolio
    • B. Present Portfolio

    Refer to lesson Empowering Your Job Skills for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/empowering-your-job-skills

    Refer to lesson Service Learning with a Smile: Human Services for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/service-learning-with-a-smile-human-services

    Refer to lesson Maximize Your Job Search with a Career Portfolio for additional resources, ideas and activities.
    http://cte.sfasu.edu/lesson-plans/maximize-your-job-search-with-a-career-portfolio

    Produce Portfolio

    You have identified the perfect job, created an impressive résumé, and written a strong cover letter. Are you ready for the interview? Not quite, because you are missing a key piece of the get to work puzzle that will complete your presentation package. You need a PORTFOLIO!

    What Is a Portfolio?

    Simply stated, a portfolio is a show and tell résumé, a sophisticated scrapbook. It offers you a unique opportunity to present your accomplishments and skills, using them to your advantage. It allows you to elaborate on the sections of your résumé of which you are most proud, and to include additional information about yourself that is relevant to the job for which you are applying. A portfolio highlights your skills and abilities, and it documents your classroom, employment, and extracurricular achievements.

    It is often said that it’s not what you know, but who you know that counts, and there is certainly a degree of truth to this statement. It is true that many job seekers find their jobs through networking (defined as the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business), highlighting the importance of who you know. However you make it into an interview, whether by networking or the traditional method of submitting your résumé directly to the company, ultimately what you know and how you communicate this knowledge will be the key to getting the job.

    In summary, a good résumé will provide you access to an interview and strong verbal communication skills will enhance your opportunities to obtain an offer of employment. Insert a well-constructed portfolio in the process and you will now have a competitive edge that sets you apart from other applicants and will dramatically improve your chances of being hired for the job.

    Why Should I Have a Portfolio?

    Until recently, it was primarily people in the visual arts, performing arts, and education professions that used portfolios. Times have changed. Now job seekers across all industries have started to take advantage of the edge that a complete, well-structured portfolio can provide. It is a strong persuasive tool in the interview process when you can visually demonstrate evidence of your skills and abilities to an employer. As an example, in demonstrating your written communication skills, what better way to impress your interviewer than to provide actual samples that demonstrate your writing ability? If math is your strength, prove this by opening the appropriate section in your portfolio and presenting a copy of a state standardized math test. These are just a couple of examples of how the portfolio can be a valuable tool in your quest for the job.

    The Portfolio: Its Other Uses and Applications

    First and foremost, your portfolio will be a key component of your job interview presentation. Additionally, your portfolio can be helpful in organizing a college application, applying for scholarships, and documenting your professional growth. It is a living document that, if kept current, will continue to be of assistance as you progress in your educational experience and along your career path.

    Web Resources about Portfolios

    There are many useful web sites that include tips about creating meaningful portfolios. The following websites will give you additional information about portfolios.

    This site presents portfolios as A Secret Weapon for Your Internship Search.
    http://www.internweb.com/portfolios.asp

    This Florida State University web site contains a Portfolio Preparation Guide.
    http://www.career.fsu.edu/content/download/186935/1620740/CareerPortfolioGuide.pdf

    This site provides education students with information to facilitate independent development of a professional portfolio.
    http://delta.wisc.edu/certficate/portfolio_guidebook.pdf

    Getting Started
    It is important that your portfolio be visually appealing and easy to read. In spite of the old adage, You can’t judge a book by its cover, you will be judged on the overall look and layout of your portfolio.

    To begin the process, you will need to decide what you want the portfolio to look like and what items will be included. Remember, your portfolio should be attractive, well organized, and relevant to the job you are seeking. It will serve as a reflection of who you are and highlight your skills and accomplishments.

    Portfolio Organization

    How should your portfolio be organized?

    • Start with a loose-leaf binder with a see-through cover.
    • Design a cover sheet that includes an interesting background or graphics, with your name and appropriate photo prominently placed. (Your cover sheet can be computer generated or designed by hand.)
    • Use sheet protectors or plastic sleeves. Do not three-hole punch items.
    • Use copies only, not originals.
    • Use index tabs or title pages to divide each section.
    • Keep the portfolio to a manageable size.
    • Omit page numbers to make it easier to add and move items.
    • Use the same font, font size, and style for all headings, in order to give your portfolio a consistent look.
    • Include a summary statement for each example.

    How do I decide which Items to Include in my portfolio?

    When choosing an item for your portfolio, first consider its purpose and value in communicating the intended message. Ensure that all documents are relevant to the interview and will help sell you to the employer. Avoid redundancy, and customize your documents to highlight your proficiencies in the required job skills of the job that you are seeking. Include only samples of your finest work, exclude any personal memorabilia, and thoroughly edit to eliminate any errors. Finally, for each section, provide a divider and include a summary statement for each displayed example.

    How should I organize the contents of my portfolio?

    Now that you understand the fundamentals of the physical organization of your portfolio, let’s focus on what information needs to be included and how it is displayed. As mentioned earlier, you will have different sections in your portfolio.

    They may include:

    • Table of Contents
    • Résumé
    • Basic Skills
    • Thinking Skills
    • Personal Qualities
    • Experience

    You already have your résumé completed, so place it in the portfolio. We have included Basic Skills, Thinking Skills, and Personal Qualities as sections in your portfolio, because they are qualities and skills that employers look for in their employees.

    The results of numerous studies emphasize the fact that employers want employees who can:

    • Communicate effectively
    • Solve problems
    • Work well with others and are responsible people.

    The final section of your portfolio will include your experience, paid or unpaid work, and volunteer activities.

    Sections of Your Portfolio

    Basic Skills
    A major portion of your portfolio will focus on demonstrating the following basic skills:

    • Communications (speaking, listening, reading, and writing)
    • Mathematics
    • Science and technology

    To demonstrate that you have the basic skills, your portfolio may include such items as:

    • An official copy of your transcript
    • College acceptance letters
    • Scholarship letters
    • ACT, PSAT, SAT, or other standardized test scores
    • Honor roll certificates
    • Other certificates of awards or honors
    • Samples of your writing
    • Personal statement for college applications
    • Documentation of technical or computer skills
    • Letters of commendation
    • Letters of appreciation
    • Letters of nomination to honors and academic organizations
    • Newspaper articles that address your academic achievements
    • Evidence of completed courses in technology
    • Certificates received from Regional Occupational Program courses
    • A list of computer software programs that you use
    • Articles that you wrote for the school newspaper, club newsletter, or yearbook
    • Science fair project notes and pictures
    • Sample of PowerPoint™ presentations
    • Copy of Who’s Who in American High Schools certificate

    Remember, this is your opportunity to show off the accomplishments you are proud of and that will help you get the job offer! You probably won’t have all of the items listed above, they are suggestions. Choose the items that will showcase your talents and skills best.

    Thinking Skills

    Include items that will demonstrate the following:

    • Learning
    • Reasoning
    • Creative thinking
    • Decision making
    • Problem solving

    Examples of thinking skills include:

    • Web sites created
    • A program from an event you helped plan
    • A list of conferences and workshops you have attended and a description of each
    • Samples of flyers, newsletters, or brochures that you have designed
    • Description of a class project you completed utilizing thinking skills

    Personal Qualities

    Included in this skill set are:

    • Being responsible
    • Having self-confidence
    • Possessing appropriate social skills
    • Being honest
    • Having integrity
    • Demonstrating adaptability and flexibility
    • Being a team player
    • Being punctual and efficient
    • Being self-directed
    • Possessing a positive work attitude
    • Being well groomed
    • Being cooperative
    • Being self-motivated
    • Demonstrating good time management

    These skills enable workers to work well with their peers and supervisors, to make sound, critical decisions, and to add value to the workplace. These skills also enable workers to contribute to the group and enjoy a greater degree of job satisfaction.

    Examples of evidence of positive personal qualities include:

    • Completion of a project done within a time deadline
    • Joining a new organization
    • Running for an office
    • Leadership recognition as a class officer
    • Recommendations from employers you have worked for who can attest to your character
    • Recommendations from teachers and other school staff who have knowledge of your behavior on completing assignments and taking tests
    • Photos or newspaper clippings showing you as part of a team whether it is related to sports or a class project.
    • School transcript showing good attendance and lack of tardies
    • Web site, PowerPoint, newsletter, or other creative assignment completed with minimal direction from a teacher or supervisor
    • Certificate of appreciation for a service learning project
    • Documentation of extra-curricular activities
    • A well-organized, attractive portfolio

    Experience

    Now that you have identified examples of your employability skills, it is time to add the final section to your portfolio: YOUR WORK EXPERIENCE. Whether you have had a paying job or done volunteer work, you have developed work readiness skills. Remember that paid work experience includes such jobs as babysitting, pet sitting, house sitting, housework, landscaping, and general maintenance.

    To document your work readiness skills, you can include items like the following examples in your portfolio:

    • Certificates or other documents of employer recognition
    • Business cards from past employers
    • Copies of performance reviews

    Lists of skills you gained on the job relating to:

    • Communication
    • Responsibility
    • Team Participation
    • Time Management
    • Customer Service
    • Descriptions of projects you completed
    • Letters of recommendation from co-workers and employers
    • Pictures of you on the job.

    Don’t forget that unpaid or volunteer work experience can also be strong evidence of skills and abilities that are needed for the desired job.

    Include examples of volunteer experiences in your portfolio:

    • Websites you developed for your school, church, or someones business
    • PowerPoint presentations you produced for a charity
    • Certificates of Appreciation for participating in a philanthropic project
    Electronic Portfolios

    You may want to create an electronic portfolio. An electronic portfolio can be used to your advantage, because an employer can review your portfolio whenever it is convenient, not just during the interview. You can present your electronic portfolio on the Internet, CD-ROM, floppy disk, or zip disk.

    Whichever way your electronic portfolio is delivered to an employer, if you include a mailto link, then they can contact you easily by clicking on the link and typing in a message to you. It is a good idea to provide that link, as you want to make it easy for the employer to contact you for an interview!

    To create your electronic portfolio, complete your traditional portfolio first. Then, include your Microsoft Word files in electronic form. You may need to use Adobe Acrobat for some large graphic files. Finally, you may need to use a scanner to scan some of your pictures, newspaper articles, and certificates for inclusion.

    As with a traditional portfolio, be sure that your electronic portfolio is well organized. If you post your portfolio on the Internet, be sure to put the web address on your résumé and in your cover letter heading. Obviously, you must avoid placing any personal information whatsoever (other than your name) anywhere on your website. Never include links to inappropriate websites in your electronic portfolio. Other web security concerns will apply if your electronic portfolio is online, especially if you include a way to contact you. Always be wise about Internet predators.

    Just as you did for your traditional portfolio, make sure that your initial cover page is clean and enticing. Be sure to have friends view the page from their computers before it is finalized. Remember that not all computers read fonts, colors, and images in the same way.

    Present Portfolio
    Now that you have completed your portfolio, be sure to practice presenting it. Ask a family member or friend to listen to how well you tell your story. The best portfolio in the world won’t help you, if you don’t know how to use it effectively during an interview! So, practice, practice, and practice! If you are applying for several positions, you may need to edit the portfolio slightly to target each position.

    However, used correctly, not only can your portfolio help you answer some interview questions, it is also your opportunity to demonstrate to an employer just how terrific you are. You’re not just telling them; you’re showing them! You will need to update your portfolio regularly with your new accomplishments, experience, and skills as you gain them.

    Your portfolio will then continue to be a valuable tool throughout your advanced education and your chosen career.

    Teaching Strategies/Lesson Ideas

    • Help students create a quality portfolio by breaking it into segments of work over a period of time during the year. Students can share creative skills by using a theme throughout the portfolio that reflects their personality. They can also use quotes as a heading in each section related to the category.
    • Encourage the use of technology as students develop a portfolio. A short video illustrating a student’s talents, family members, favorite activities and skills, if well done can showcase a student effectively.

    References and Resources

    Websites

    Practicum in Human Services Pre-Assessment Questions

    1. Offers you a unique opportunity to present your accomplishments and skills, using them to your advantage. It allows you to elaborate on the sections of your résumé of which you are most proud, and to include additional information about yourself that is relevant to the job for which you are applying

    • a. references
    • b. portfolio
    • c. website
    • d. cover letter

    2. When choosing an item for your portfolio, first consider its purpose and value in communicating the intended message, then

    • a. never include pictures of your family
    • b. include only samples of work from others that you like
    • c. customize your documents to highlight your proficiencies in the required job skills of the job that you are seeking.
    • d. do not bother doing a portfolio if you have no paid work experience

    3. The best portfolio in the world won’t help you, if you don’t know how to use it effectively during an interview! So,

    • a. practice, practice, practice!
    • b. have a professional presenter deliver it
    • c. do not bother doing one
    • d. just let them look it over without talking

    4. An electronic portfolio is well organized. If you post your portfolio on the Internet, be sure to put the web address on your résumé and in your cover letter heading. Obviously, you must avoid placing any personal information whatsoever on the website and

    • a. don’t trust your boy/girl friend to post it for you
    • b. just put it on facebook to make it easier
    • c. never include links to inappropriate websites in your electronic portfolio
    • d. always include a baby picture

    5. The results of numerous studies emphasize the fact that employers want employees who

    • a. communicate effectively, solve problems, and work well with others.
    • b. have the most experience of the applicants
    • c. have the best computer skills
    • d. look good and have a great smile

    6. Employers want portfolios that showcase examples of thinking skills which could include

    • a. a website design you like
    • b. a reference letter
    • c. a thank you note you received
    • d. samples of flyers, newsletters, or brochures that you have designed

    7. Desirable personal qualities such as being cooperative and a team player are skills that also enable workers to contribute to the group and enjoy a greater degree of job satisfaction. Examples of evidence of positive personal qualities include:

    • a. perform complex calculations on the calculator
    • b. leadership recognition as a class officer
    • c. a website you developed
    • d. chores you complete at home

  • Quiz

    Practicum in Human Services Online Course

    Progress:

    1. Often this is the first introduction an employer has to your skills and abilities

    2. Employers find these to be common qualities of a good employee.

    3. This tool can assist in presenting your skills and talents to an employer and help you stand out among the applicants when presented professionally.

    4. Professional organizations offer many benefits to membership, including

    5. This is a meeting, often at the employment site between the employer and the applicant.

    6. Careers in Human Services can be found in these industries

    7. One of the most important skills an employer seeks in an employee.

    8. This style of leadership is successful when a group is willing to be lead and will get the results required to reach goals.

    9. A positive trait or quality that we consider to be morally good and valued collectively and individually.

    10. A common expectation of employers on the job.

    11. This report presents a set of foundation skills and workplace competencies deemed essential for work world success today.

    12. Career success is often determined by these skills.

    13. When the economy slows, companies run into difficulties and businesses scale back their workforce, which is often referred to as:

    14. Leaders are people who have the power to influence the behavior of others. Good leaders can _______________ others.

    15. Body gestures, facial expressions are two examples of this type of communication.

    16.The decision-making process to solve problems involves several steps. The first step is to:

    17. A communication process in which people alternate between sending and receiving messages:

    18. A closed mind is considered a _____________________ to good communication.

    19. Good listening skills are important to successful communication. An important skill is to _________________.

    20. A critical component of an effective customer service training program.

    21. Good relationship skills will help you succeed on the job. Being friendly is a good start, but remember the ________________________________________.

    22. The body of laws, administrative rulings, and precedents which address the legal rights of, and restrictions on, working people and their organizations.

    23. It ended unequal application of voter registration requirements and racial segregation in schools, at the workplace and by facilities that served the general public.

    24. These initiatives complement non-discrimination compliance programs by creating the workplace environment and organizational culture for making differences work.

    25. Provides monthly cash payments and medical benefits to coal miners totally disabled from pneumoconiosis arising from their employment in the nation's coal mines.

    26. Employers covered by the OSH Act must comply with the regulations and the safety and health standards promulgated by OSHA, which stands for ____________________________________.

    27. Their activity today centers on collective bargaining over wages, benefits, and working conditions for their membership, and on representing their members in disputes with management over violations of contract provisions.

    28. Federal labor law _____________ need to be visible to all employees and state that the company is an equal opportunity employer.

    29. Physical environmental factors can have an adverse impact on people. The specific physical factors that limit performance will vary. depending on both the work environment and individual differences but will include __________________________________________.

    30. Each employee should be conscious of their health in their work environment and record any pain, discomfort, injury or illness that they believe is work-related. This information should be reported to _______________.

    31. Noise, lighting, ventilation, radiation, and vibrations are all potential _____________________ that should be considered in the workplace.

    32. The work area should be set up according to _____________ design principles. For each task, the following should be considered: frequency and flow of work; materials and equipment required; and the priority of different tasks.

    33. The risk associated with each hazard can be controlled by implementing the following hierarchy of controls:

    34. A hostile work environment usually refers to a work environment that makes an employee emotionally and mentally unable to perform work-related tasks. However, a hostile work environment also can refer to a work environment in which an employee is _________________________.

    35. Employers' have legal obligation to develop emergency evacuation plans and how to include employees with _____________________ in developing these plans.

    36. When writing office letters, if you don't know their marital status just use

    37. Proper phone etiquette includes:

    38. What are the benefits of policy, procedure and process documentation?

    39. Describes the use of proper manners and behavior online and should be used in all areas of electronic means including email, chatting, blogging, forums, message boards, and so on.

    40. Following email etiquette can be very important. If your email is emotionally charged,

    41. The use of electronic information and communication technologies(which include email, websites, text messaging, web logs or blogs, three-way calling, cell phones, photographs, videos, or any other electronic means) to repeatedly willfully and intentionally embarrass, intimidate, humiliate, threaten, or harass another.

    42. This is the buying and selling of product or service over electronic systems such as the Internet and other computer networks.

    43. In a Traditional economy there is

    44. Determined by the extent of government involvement in economic decision making.

    45. Involves investments, production, the allocation of economic inputs, distribution of economic outputs, land availability, households, financial institutions and government policies.

    46. In the report “Results of the U.S. President’s Commission on Industrial Competitiveness” by John A. Young, one of the key findings was

    47. Supply and demand is an economic model of price determination in a market. It concludes that in a competitive market, the unit price for a particular good will vary until it settles at a point where the quantity demanded by consumers (at current price) will equal the quantity supplied by producers (at current price), resulting in

    48. The most common forms of business are sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation and S corporation. In selecting the best business structure, careful analysis is important because

    49. The degree to which a nation can, under free and fair market conditions, produce goods and services that meet the test of international markets while at the same time maintaining or expanding the real incomes of its citizens.

    50. Offers you a unique opportunity to present your accomplishments and skills, using them to your advantage. It allows you to elaborate on the sections of your resume of which you are most proud, and to include additional information about yourself that is relevant to the job for which you are applying.

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