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Another school year is here! A great time to focus on the great work that DVR does with transition age youth! Over 30% of Wisconsin DVR's successful employment outcomes in FFY 2012 were transition age youth - 1,090.
The DVR Statewide Transition Action and Resource Team (START) Team leads DVR policy and practice related to transition services for students with disabilities. START members take the lead on issues related to transition in their respective areas and are a resource for other staff within their Workforce Development Area (WDA) in the area of transition.
A recent TMJ 4 story highlighted the success of a recent University of Wisconsin graduate. Josh Reiher, Mequon, was the first deaf doctor to graduate from the school. He was also a DVR consumer who began working with DVR when he was a student in Mequon.
Work experience during high school makes it much more likely that a student will also connect with employment as an adult.
For transition age youth who are interested in exploring integrated employment in the community, DVR can offer Youth On the Job Training.
DVR will reimburse a business for 100% of wages for up to 500 hours for a participating DVR consumer. The consumer can work those hours during the school year or on summer breaks.
Youth OJT Agreement:
Youth OJT Procedures:
Two new Wisconsin Project SEARCH sites will launch in September:
Project SEARCH is a 9-12 month program for students with disabilities in their last year of high school. It provides training and education that lead to integrated employment for individuals with disabilities. The program occurs on-site at a high status community business.
Project SEARCH video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3k2yMVtGLs
The two new sites will join five other Wisconsin Project SEARCH sites:
DVR partners with the Department of Health Services, the Department of Public Instruction and the Board for People with Developmental Disabilities to implement Let's Get to Work grants in nine school districts throughout the state. These grants examine interventions to improve employment outcomes for youth with developmental disabilities in Wisconsin.
Some recent Let's Get to Work Success Stories:
Current Let's Get to Work Schools:
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers a curriculum that focuses on teaching "soft" or workforce readiness skills to youth, including youth with disabilities.
The basic structure of the program is comprised of modular, hands-on, engaging activities that focus on six key skill areas:
The Wisconsin Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (WAICU) hosts a website, WisconsinsPrivateColleges.org, that provides information about the private, not for profit colleges and universities.
Included on their website is a chart that outlines the majors and minors offered at each campus. It may be a helpful planning tool for students who are considering a private institution.
Joshua Johnson - BSC, WDA 2
Joshua Johnson's follow-up to this inquiry resulted in an OJT for a DVR consumer.
I work in the human resources department at Cargill-Value Added Meat Solutions in Butler, Wisconsin. We at Cargill would like to form a working relationship with you. We want to be able to reach out to a wider and more diverse applicant pool and post our open positions in areas such as vocational rehabilitation. Can you please send me information about who I can get in contact with in order to establish such a relationship here in Milwaukee?
Thank you, I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Michael Exum (BSC) and Krysta Hannon (VRC) - Madison
I got the job!! I am so excited. I was very nervous but I did well on the interview. I am very happy. My first day is August 12.
Mike (Exum), Thank you for recommending me and talking to the hotel people. And thanks Jill (job developer) for coming today. I could not have done this without you. Thank you everyone for helping me get the job.
Note from WDA 10 Director Les Mirkin about the consumer's success - "This exemplifies partnering between a consumer, her mother, the DVR counselor, the DVR Business Services Team, and a DVR Job Developer.
Well done and thank you everyone!!!"
JoAnna Richard - Deputy Administrator, Central Office
Regarding the successful submission of the PROMISE Grant
Outstanding work JoAnna! I'm very pleased with the process and execution of the grant application. I'm especially pleased with the coordination of all the stakeholders.
I strongly believe we will receive this grant. I tip my hat to you and all the staff involved in this process. Thank you very much!
(Note: DVR PROMISE Grant workgroup members are - JoAnna Richard, Meredith Dressel, Allison Gordon, Kathleen Enders, Lea Collins-Worachek, Aimee Jahnke, Linda Raap and Kristin Rolling)