Please reach out if you would like to work together on database work; or if you need help finding any resources
for staff, teachers or students during this time.
Connecting Activities Tutorial: Once you have settled into new work-at-home routines, I invite you to try out the 'Connecting Activities Tutorial' that
tours through many of the resources and best practices that we share as a network. The tutorial can be a good refresher for
experienced staff and an orientation for new staff getting started with this work. Find the tutorial online at
http://massconnecting.org/outline.asp (link opens in a new window).
There is a progress bar for tracking your progress through the units, and you can view the progress bar within the tutorial screens and
in the database, on the reports/admin menu, in a new report, Report T-01: Connecting Activities Tutorial Progress Bar.
February 8, 2020
A "pilot" optional feature allows you to list the students who participate in Career Development Activities.
While a list of participating students is NOT required for Connecting Activities reporting, many pathway programs and
others would like to track this information. Look for this information on the Activity Screen. The feature works the same
as the ADD EMPLOYERS feature. Data from this feature is available on "ACTIVITY REPORT 5" which is available from the Activity Screen
and from the Reports/Admin menu.
When you visit the Reports/Admin menu, you may notice that the list of reports in Part II of the Reports/Admin menu is slightly re-arranged. As always, you can find reports using the
search features and the 'favorites' option. (Or just use Ctrl-F to "FIND" anything on the screen.)
Some improvements to "Report 2B: Skills Details." This report allows you to browse Work-Based Learning Plan skills,
skill descriptions, job titles and job descriptions, both within your region and statewide. This report is valuable for
getting ideas for job descriptions and skills/tasks for your program participants. View the report for all types of
jobs or for specific industry clusters.
September 1, 2019 - Welcome to a new school year! Over the long weekend I did some updates to the database to make the database
run more quickly and smoothly. Pre-2015 records are now archived (but will be available through the reports menu) and there are slight changes to the menu page. When you first
open the menu page, no more than 400 records will appear on your list, but you can change that setting (in the filter bar) to list
more records. Also some behind-the-scenes work to speed up the screens. Let me know of any questions or any issues that you notice.
March 5, 2019:
On the Reports/Admin menu, notice that there is now an option to check "STEM Only" placements
in Part I, where you set the criteria for your reports. This checkbox will select the placements that
you identified as STEM via the placement screen.
There are updates to the "ONE STEP" supervisor screen. (a.) After you write the job description and skills/tasks, you can
use the feature below the job description to send an email to the supervisor, or send it to yourself to forward to the supervisor.
The email provides a secure link that the supervisor can use to open the review screen and complete the WBLP reviews.
The report screen "Report 8S" provides a list of supervisor emails, with status of each, and with an option to
generate an email to all supervisors on the list.
Additional Recent Updates....
Sept. 15, 2018. Many of the workforce boards are in the midst of changing names
and email addresses. Many schools are also changing email addresses as they add new
email systems. If you need to change your username to match your new email address, please click on
the MY ACCOUNT button on the navigation bar along the top of the main menu page. You will see an option
to update your username. Note to regional-level coordinators: please contact me (Jennifer) if you would like to
update usernames for staff in your region.
Sept. 12, 2018. If students or employers in your internship program fill in the placement screen:
The version of the PLACEMENT SCREEN used by interns or employers has been
updated to reflect recent updates to the career area list and other updates. Click here for a PowerPoint
presentation about this screen:
Placement Details Screen - For Interns (link opens in a new window).
July 6, 2018
FY19 New Version of Placement Screen. The new version of the PLACEMENT SCREEN is now online. This new
version replaces the "AGROWE" program elements section with a new set of questions, including a checkbox for STEM placements, and for other
information about the industry and career area focus of the placement. Read more at http://massconnecting.org/program-elements
June 14, 2018
Updated version of REPORT 9 - PROGRAM ELEMENTS. Are you working on end-of-year data and goal-setting for next year?
Some of the reports you'll find useful include:
The quarterly Work-and-Learning report, which provides the basic placement goals and placement numbers
A newly-updated "REPORT 9 - PROGRAM ELEMENTS" (available from the Reports/Admin menu), which provides more details, by school, by activity and by other parameters.
Report 10: School & Employer Partners report, which provides a statewide, regionwide and school-by-school
count of employers who participate in Work-Based Learning and Career Development activities.
Activity Report #3, which shows data you have entered about in-kind and monetary support you have received from your employer and community partners.
There is a 'favorites' box at the bottom of the third column on the Reports/Admin menu, which highlights some of these report options.
Did you know... You can run any of the reports for placements in a specific industry
cluster or for a roll-up of all the STEM-related clusters or other broad industry groups. (For example
the "ALL STEM" roll-up includes the Healthcare; Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture; Information Technology; and Manufacturing, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math industry clusters.) Look for this option on the
industry cluster dropdown box on the top of the Reports/Admin menu.
April 20, 2018
Do you have some duplicate employer records in the database? There is a new version of the "Merge Duplicates" screen that helps to merge
any duplicates. From the Main Menu, click on EMPLOYERS and the REVIEW DUPLICATES. You will see instructions on top of the page, explaining that
you can view possible duplicate records side by side, update any missing information and then click to MERGE the two records.
This is a task that regional database admins typically do -- especially near the end of the school year,... now easier with this redesigned screen.
You will see some small changes on the placement screen.
There are two new features being piloted - at the bottom of the Job Description screen you'll see an option to import a sample
job description and another option to get a link for single-step access to the performance review screen. We'll have more discussion over these
features in coming weeks - feel free to create a sample placement and experiment with these features.
January 20, 2018.
(1.) Report 2B: Skill Details: Report 2B: Skill Details has been re-designed to allow easier browsing of
examples of Work-Based Learning Plans skills, skill descriptions, job titles, and job descriptions. On the REPORTS MENU, choose an industry cluster (or broad roll-up category like STEM)
and a date range and any other criteria and then click to APPLY. Then scroll down and look for Report 2B: Skill Details in the first column of reports. Click to view.
On the report screen, you can use the bar at the top of the screen to customize report settings and details.
(2.) Viewing Reports by Industry Cluster and by broad/general category: On the REPORTS MENU, when you choose criteria for your reports, you can now choose a broad roll-up category of industry clusters, such as
STEM or Business, Retail and Hospitality. This feature will help with looking at data for STEM initiatives
as well as any other initiatives that involve several industry clusters.
Here are the broad roll-up categories. This is currently a "draft" feature... and may be refined more in the next few weeks.
Arts Media and Communications
Includes: Arts Media and Communications |
Business, Retail and Hospitality
Includes: Business | Hospitality Tourism and Recreation | Culinary Food Service and Restaurant | Retail and Services |
Construction, Design and Transportation
Includes: Construction and Design | Maintenance / Landscaping | Marine Industries | Transportation |
Human Services, Education and Public Sector
Includes: Education and Child Care | Human Services | Law Government and Public Service |
Includes: Environment Natural Resources and Agriculture | Health Care | Information Technology | Manufacturing Science and Engineering |
January 20, 2018. While working on updates to the REPORTS MENU, I removed the dropdown lists to view reports by
a specific username. That feature was rarely used. If you DID use this feature,
please email me (Jennifer) at email@example.com for instructions on how to filter reports by username.
January 16, 2018 and January 19, 2018. There are small cosmetic changes to the Placement Screen and Reports Menu.
September 15, 2017. If you are working on YouthWorks: (1.) notice that two fields have been added to the YouthWorks
program information section at the end of the Placement screen, with 'Exit Status' and a box for 'If Not 125 Hours'. If you are
submitting YouthWorks data, you can use the placement screen or the custom editing screen to fill in these fields.
(2.) When you run the Detailed Placement List, a calculation of hours worked will be included in the report.
Note -- not working on YouthWorks? Did you know you can hide this section from your placement screen if you don't need it?
See the 'My Account' screen or email Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org for instructions.
August 21, 2017. A note to Connecting Activities regional coordinators -- the screen for annual goals is now ready for your
FY18 annual goals. Each year, one person per region types the annual goals into this screen. The goals appear in the goals column in the quarterly reports.
This is a task that should be done before the first quarterly report (which is due mid-October). Thank you!!
August 11, 2017. The navigation buttons along the top of the screens have been re-arranged slightly so that the NEW review screen and printer-friendly screen are
emphasized. The OLD links are now at the end of the set of navigation buttons. Eventually those will be smaller, but will remain available.
June 26, 2017. Some reminders and updates:
QUALIFYING WAGES. Are you working on the end-of-year qualifying wages report? Notice that the report requires that you fill in an end date.
You can use the custom editing screen to do this for any that are blank. You should at least fill in the YEAR for the end date. You can let the report assume June 30th if you aren't sure of the exact end date.
REVIEWING DATA. Use the "PLACEMENT LIST" on the reports menu (or any similar list) and the "COUNT BY PROGRAM" report to review data before submittting final end-of-year reports. Look for missing
dates; look for any possible duplicates or incomplete records; also look to make sure program enrollment checkboxes are accurately completed. The COUNT BY PROGRAM
report is helpful because it shows how many records are entered for Connecting Activities, YouthWorks, WIOA Youth or other programs.
SUMMER JOBS. Are you entering summer jobs? If any of your summer jobs begin before July 1st, you can just assume a July 1 start date OR you
can enter the actual start date and then, on the placement screen, fill in the "PROGRAM YEAR" field to specify FY2018. The PROGRAM YEAR field is found near the
region and organization on the placement screen. This will properly credit your
summer job placements to the new FY2018 program year.
June 3, 2017. As we transition to our new version of the Work-Based Learning Plan, you'll see updates underway.
Watch this 'what's new!' section as more updates are added.
The placement screen remains the same.
The job description screen no longer shows the foundation skills/ employability skills because those are included in the review screen.
As you have seen, the workplace/career skills screen now has the option of choosing a skill
from a dropdown list and using the automatically generated skill definitions.
As always, you can also write your own skills and definitions.
REVIEWS for current placements can be completed using the original version.
As summer begins, you can choose the NEW version of the REVIEW screen. This will eventually be the regular screen and not 'NEW'
You can use the new or original printer-friendly print-out screen as appropriate.
Note that existing Work-Based Learning Plans will remain in their original format and can always be revisited and reprinted using the
WBLP version that we had at the time of the placement.
The new version of the Work-Based Learning plan as a Microsoft Word document:
May 3, 2017. Database users have suggested that the screen "STEP 1B - EMPLOYERS" be integrated into
the placement screen. You will now see this change --> look for the new employer information box on the