Project Discovery’s Life and Work Skills Solutions prepare students to be workforce ready.
This year U.S. schools, job coaches, vocational rehabilitation counselors and transition coordinators are working hard to comply with the new Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) mandates. Education Associates has designed a new WIOA Solution Package to help them successfully address Pre-ETS and help prepare all students to be job and life ready.
WIOA, signed into law in 2014, aims to help job seekers, including those with disabilities, to access employment, education, training and supports to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with skilled workers. “Under WIOA, students at risk and with special needs represent an untapped wealth of talent for the workplace,” says Tim Hagan, President & CEO of Education Associates. “With companies like Microsoft and Frito-Lay providing inclusive employment opportunities, service providers, educators and those of us who serve them need to be proactive and act with urgency to get these students job ready.”
Congress states in WIOA, “The days of students with disabilities leaving school poorly educated, with no employment experience, and no job prospects…need to come to an end.”
“We’re here to help provide direction so everyone can proceed on a meaningful and effective path to success” Hagan explained. “Collaboration will be the key. After having consulted with leading WIOA innovators across the country, we have a clear vision of how to address WIOA Pre-ETS.
Education Associates remains on the forefront of research and innovation and its Project Discovery career education curriculum and training are helping lead the way. According to Shelley Mauer, Senior Vice President, R&D, “While states may provide services through different agencies, we make sure our solutions work for every provider so our customers can confidently implement a compliant, effective Pre-ETS program with inspiring results.”
Martin Luther King High School, Philadelphia, PA, launched a greenhouse using Project Discovery to grow produce for school cooking classes and for a local health food co-op, Weavers Way, in partnership with Home Depot and Lowes. “It’s a powerful demonstration of what schools, non-profits and businesses can achieve in helping students learn in innovative, experiential ways,” enthused Jill Fink, Executive Director.
At Believer’s Academy Charter School in Florida, Founder Lori Dyer uses Project Discovery to fuse career readiness skills, independent living, and academics for students with special needs. “We work closely with businesses to tailor local job opportunities with a record of 97% of students gainfully employed,” says Dyer.
“We believe every student, even the most severely impacted, can exit school with a resume,” says Hagan. “Our hands-on career exploration kits are the most comprehensive available and we offer ‘Job Ready, Life Ready’ materials as well for job prep and independent living.”
According to Hagan, “With WIOA, it’s a process. 1. Allow individuals to explore what career might interest them. 2. Allow individuals to learn and practice real job skills, and 3. Provide opportunities within the community and the workplace for these job ready individuals.”
“Employers across the country are opening their doors for all, including those with special needs, and we are here to make sure there is an abundance of potential employees to fill those opportunities.”