DVR Pre-Employment Transition Programs
In collaboration with local education agencies and other partners, Alaska DVR developed a multi-prong approach in providing students with disabilities, including those in remote areas of Alaska, pre-employment transition services to help them prepare for employment. The following are a few examples:
JOBZ Clubs occur after school and use engaging activities to introduce students to “work readiness skills.” Teachers are paid by DVR to facilitate clubs in their schools. More information.
Summer Work Programs
DVR, in partnership with the Disability Employment Initiative, partnered with 11 agencies and 3 school districts across Alaska to provide work experiences for students with disabilities, ranging from ages 14 to 21. This program, administered cooperatively by state departments and divisions of Labor and Workforce Development; Vocational Rehabilitation; and Employment and Training Services through the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI), provided funding to agencies throughout the state that allowed them to combine workplace experience with an instructional component that exposed participants to career pathways and workplace expectations. Over 65 Alaskan businesses supported the program by providing employment and work readiness training in a variety of industries that included childcare, customer service, janitorial, and landscaping. More Information.
DVR partners with the DEED to fund Transition Camps (in 3-5 day cross-state conferences), utilizing a team of highly qualified special education professionals from Southeast Regional Resource Center. At each conference Pre-ETS activities are provided through community exploration, presentations by businesses, postsecondary education and vocational training providers that help students develop a vision for their future.
DVR partners with Brightways Learning to conduct Phlight Clubs, 3-day events engaging students and their families in school districts across the state. Phlight Club incorporates Pre-ETS self-advocacy and work readiness skills training activities to help students develop self-esteem and leadership skills.
PATHWAYS School to Career
DVR partners with Northwestern Alaska Career and Technical Center, EXCEL AK and Voyage to Excellence Career and Technical Education program to offer an intensive array of courses that combine Pre-ETS activities with “hands on learning” in specific career fields such as culinary, carpentry and welding. These courses offer exposure to the stepping stone credentials students need to be competitive candidates for postsecondary education and training towards apprenticeships.
DVR funds nine agencies (behavioral health, developmental disability and independent living organizations) in rural and urban areas to provide an intensive array of Pre-ETS activities. Each student receives instruction in job exploration and work readiness training with 40 hours of paid work experience to practice those skills.
Photos from Pre-Employment Transition Programs