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Summer Work Experience Program

Work Experience Can Work Summer Program

June 13, 2023: SMUHSD Summer Work Experience Program is in its Third Year


San Mateo Union High School District kicked off its Summer "Work Experience Can Work" program in collaboration with the California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) and NOVA Job Center - San Mateo County's local Workforce Development Board. The program, in its third year, supports SMUHSD graduates who have previously received special education services from SMUHSD.  The funding from the program is provided by the Federal Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act that the Department of Rehabilitation and NOVA both manage.   

The young adults who have signed up for the paid summer employment program participated in a one-week employment preparation boot camp to learn workplace readiness skills, participate in job exploration, and advance their self-advocacy skills.  The participants had in-class support from SMUHSD program leads Matt Park and Cammy Leung; NOVA program managers Lelan Anders and Aracely Diaz, and various Student Service Counselors from the San Bruno and San Mateo Department of Rehabilitation offices. Transition Specialist Eli Poblitz oversees the program on behalf of SMUHSD.

The participants will be matched to SMUHSD business partners along the peninsula for a work-based learning opportunity for the summer starting this week (June 12).  Students will have the opportunity to work as little as 100 hours during the summer and a maximum of 340 hours due to the combined funding from DOR and NOVA.  The students will earn from $16.75 - $17.95 per hour, depending on their job. 

Our goal is that this program might be adopted on a larger scale across the state in the future.

Thank you to the employers who are participating in our 2023 Work Experience Can Work Summer Program:

  • Sunshine Daycare

  • Smart & Final

  • San Mateo Medical Center

  • Sonrisas Dental

  • New England Lobster Market 

  • SMUHSD Facilities

  • Millbrae Library  

  • Mountain Mike’s Pizza

  • San Mateo Zoo 

  • Orchard Supply Hardware

  • America’s House Restaurant

  • One Love Daycare

  • Walgreens

  • B Street Boxing Gym 

  • Burlingame Recreation Center

  • Boys & Girls Club of North San Mateo County 


Learn about SMUHSD’s Transition Programs: /Page/5514.

For more information about modeling this program in your School District or learning about being an employer with this program in the Summer of 2024, contact Eli Poblitz at or 650-558-2274.