Pre-Employment Transition Services

Teaching a high school computer course

Students participate in career exploration activities during a DRS-sponsored 2018 Career Exploration Opportunity workshop.

Do you know what you want to do after school?

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services may be able to guide you with Pre-Employment Transition Services. These services provide opportunities to learn about potential careers, your interest in those careers, how to prepare for them and how to take charge of your future.

Eligibility

To be eligible for such transition services, you must:

  • be enrolled in high school, college or an accredited work-related training program;
  • be at least 14 years old and less than 22 years old; and
  • have a disability or condition that results in a substantial impediment to employment.

Some examples of disabilities or conditions that could make you eligible include: a specific learning disability, an intellectual disability, autism, speech/language impairment, depression, anxiety, substance use disorder, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, ADHD, dyslexia and diabetes. There are many more qualifying conditions.

Transition services cover five broad categories:

  1. Job Exploration Counseling – to help students identify potential occupations and career pathways.
    Examples:
    • Discussing in-demand industry sectors and occupations, including non-traditional employment
    • Investigating labor market information, including composition and localized information that applies to individual interests
    • Completing vocational interest inventories and/or discussion of results (Pathwayswv.org and O*Net)
    • Identifying career pathways of interest
  2. Work-Based Learning Experiences – to gain information about an occupation in the workplace.
    Examples:
    • School-based job training programs
    • Informational interviews to research employers
    • Worksite tours to learn necessary job skills
    • Job shadowing in the community (e.g., the POWER program)
    • Community mentoring opportunities
    • Volunteering
    • Apprenticeships (not including pre-apprenticeships and registered apprenticeships)
  3. Counseling on Opportunities for Enrollment in Comprehensive Transition or Postsecondary Educational Programs – to assist students in planning postsecondary training.
    Examples:
    • Providing information on course offerings
    • Examining career options
    • Discussing types of academic and occupational training needed to succeed in the labor market, including identification of training opportunities
    • Advising students and parents or representatives on academic curriculum
    • Assisting with the college applications, admissions and financial aid processes (e.g., FAFSA)
    • Referral to sources to support individual success in education and training (disability support services, for example)
  4. Workplace Readiness Training – to develop social and independent living skills.
    Examples:
    • Training on communication and Interpersonal skills
    • Training on financial literacy
    • Training on orientation and mobility skills (knowing where you are, where you want to go and how to move safely and efficiently from place to place)
    • Training on job-seeking skills
    • Training on understanding employer expectations
    • Training in the "soft skills" necessary for employment (self-motivation, responsibility, teamwork, problem-solving, flexibility, time management, punctuality, conflict resolution …)
  5. Instruction in Self-Advocacy – to enable students to represent themselves, their views or their interests.
    Examples:
    • Learning about rights, responsibilities, and how to request accommodations or services and supports needed to move from high school to postsecondary education and/or employment
    • Sharing thoughts, concerns and needs, in preparation for possible peer mentoring opportunities with individuals working in their area(s) of interest
    • Conducting informational interviews
    • Mentoring with educational staff (principals, nurses, teachers and office staff)
    • Mentoring with individuals employed by or volunteering for employers, boards, associations or organizations in integrated community settings
    • Participation in youth leadership activities in educational or community settings

For more information, find the office nearest you.