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SUMMER, 2019
Youth Career Exploration & Work Experiences


Ability Works, Inc. is a non-profit agency that implements two Summer Youth Programs over the summer for transition students. It is our goal to provide hands-on work experience and exploration for the students who participate in the program. We rely on businesses to assist us in the implementation of our program by providing a work environment where students can gain life and career experiences. Ability Works, Inc. will be serving the following counties: Erie, Huron, Lorain, Lucas, Ottawa, and Sandusky.

The Work Experience Program offers four weeks of paid work experience at a site chosen by the student, along with one week of a classroom-based curriculum where students have the opportunity to learn the necessary skills that will help them achieve successful employment opportunities. Students working at a site are paid through Ability Works.

The three-week Career Exploration Program pdf file allows students who are becoming experienced with work the opportunity to explore the different career opportunities available to them by participating in tours of area businesses.

Summer Youth Career Exploration and Work Experiences are intended to be group-based services utilized to teach students and youths with disabilities vocational skills and appropriate work behaviors. 1:1 services can also be provided, but the student will still participate in a group setting.

Both Career Exploration and Work Experience services must include a soft skills educational component approved by OOD (e.g. "Skills to Pay the Bills," etc.) to teach independent living skills such as budgeting, time management, development of vocational interests, and job-seeking skills training.

Career Exploration is designed for first-time or younger participants who have limited vocational experiences. CX shall be 15 hours per week for a total of three weeks per summer. The soft skills educational component shall take place between two to four hours per week. The outcome of Summer Youth Exploration should be that the participant can articulate his/her desire to work; recognize different employment options through job shadowing, tours of businesses, discussion and presentations from employers; informational interviewing; and awareness of his/her own personal strengths and weaknesses.

Work Experiences are designed for older participants or for participants who have successfully completed the Career Exploration track. Work Experiences shall be 20 hours per week for a total of five weeks. The first week shall be 20 hours of soft skills education. The outcome of the service is that participants should be able to identify several vocational areas of interest; possess a general understanding of the job-seeking process; the ability to meet employers' expectations as far as quality and quantity of work, work behaviors, etc.; build upon communication and interpersonal skills; and/or address other potential vocational barriers.

For more information about this year's Work Experiences, click the appropriate link below: