Special Services Work Program: Training and finding jobs for youth with special needs

Posted: Tuesday, April 16, 2002

The Special Service Work Program at Kenai Central High School is striving to develop student vocational abilities and identify jobs that are available in the community.

"We go to businesses and find out if they are willing to take our students, we do on the job training, as well as in house training to fit the right job for them in the future," said Lisa Bote, of the Special Services Work Program at KCHS.

According to Loretta Harvey, of the Peninsula Job Center, special work incentive grants are available through the Governor's council on disability and special services that are assisting both students and employers achieve that purpose, "Statistics show that 67% of people with disabilities in the state of Alaska are unemployed even though they would like to be employed. So the federal government has come up some work incentives for employers and employees to help these folks re-enter the work force," said Harvey. The Peninsula Job Center offers a referral program for those who have had an injury and are looking to return to work.

KCHS culinary art and work program students participated at the recent Job Fair at KPC by creating a variety of food trays and sandwiches for the more than 80 participating businesses. "Hooking these students up with the right job is an incredible experience to see them flourish. I have students that have come back to me years later and say I'm still at this job and I love what I'm doing and if wasn't for the program I would never have done it," said Bote.

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