A transition program in Washington state is providing opportunities for students with disabilities in their transition years after high school with great success.
When it comes to school-to-work programs, Mike Etzell and Diane Fesler have a unique perspective.
Etzell and Fesler both work with students ages 18 to 21 with developmental disabilities, helping them to transition into the workforce.
“We’re investing in all of those students going to school, and why would we stop after kids with special needs graduate?” Etzell said.
Etzell and Fesler work with community partners to give jobs or internships to their students to help get them slowly acclimated to post-high school life during those transition years. Sometimes their students can work as little as two hours a week at a job, learning how to adjust to the adult world, with job coaches who help them through the adjustment.
Their mantra is “Jobs by June,” and they plan to work with their students throughout the year to get them ready for that.