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Community work transition program offers students jobs
AC SCHOOL DISTRICT as 'ENGINE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT' - The goal of the whole program - which starts in tenth grade, exploring abilities and interests - is to get these students fully employed by the time they graduate, making a fair wage. We want to set them up as productive members of the community. The biggest thing is getting out and letting them explore different venues and giving them opportunities they might have never had before. - JIM LEIB, Adair School District Employment Specialist
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By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools
While most Adair County High School students sat in a classroom of some form or fashion Tuesday morning, October 25, 2016, seniors Matthew Combs and Dean Foster were getting paid. The two are part of the Community Work Transition Program (CWTP) at ACHS, which aims to develop skills and find employment opportunities for exceptional students, and worked part of the day Tuesday in the press room at The Adair Progress.
"The goal of the whole program - which starts in tenth grade, exploring abilities and interests - is to get these students fully employed by the time they graduate, making a fair wage," explains Jim Leib, the district's employment specialist. "We want to set them up as productive members of the community. The biggest thing is getting out and letting them explore different venues and giving them opportunities they might have never had before."
The first venue of the current school year, and Foster's first ever paid gig, consisted of folding ads and stuffing newspapers at The Progress. Both students say they enjoyed the experience. "It's been good," Combs says. "It wasn't too hard or anything." Foster agreed. "I think I could do it for a while," he says.
Donna Hancock, owner of The Progress., says she was glad Leib sought her out for the program. "We're happy we get to help out with this and give these kids an opportunity," Hancock says. "If a kid wants to work I'd rather give them a chance than hiring in someone else who might not want to do anything."
Leib is actively searching for more local businesses to participate in the CWTP, which is new to Adair County this year. In addition to the two seniors, there are currently seven sophomores and one junior in the program.
"It's a long process and we try to go over everything," Leib says. "What are they interested in? What are they good at? Then we talk about interviews and job applications and then we get them out here in the workplace trying things out. They might be capable of a lot more than they thought they were."
This story was posted on 2016-10-27 15:11:08
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