Summer 2020 Pre-Employment Transition Services

Classes Begin for Virtual Career Exploration and Opportunity 2.0

The West Virginia Division of Rehabilitation Services' (DRS) summer season of pre-employment transition services (Pre-ETS) activities for youth with disabilities is officially underway.

computer screen with online trainer

Derick Pugh conducts an online session for NUSkool Scholars, one of many community rehabilitation providers in West Virginia.

Prior to the pandemic, DRS was planning many face-to-face summer learning experiences for students throughout West Virginia. Thanks to hard work and planning, the pandemic is not stopping these opportunities for youth. Like so many vocational rehabilitation consumers must do in order to succeed, DRS adapted to create virtual learning experiences for students.

NUSkool Scholars, a DRS community rehabilitation provider (CRP), is one of the first to deliver a virtual Career Exploration and Opportunity 2.0 (CEO 2.0) class from May 18-29. NUSkool serves Boone, Calhoun, Clay, Fayette, Jackson, Kanawha, Mason, Putnam, Raleigh, Roane and Summers counties. NUSkool will provide additional sessions throughout the summer.

Created by Derick and Cindi Pugh of Beaver, West Virginia, NUSKool is uniquely spelled for a reason: NU = Never Underestimate what individuals with disabilities can accomplish when provided with the right tools and resources.

NUSkool's class is intended to provide tools and information to support students in obtaining long-term career success. The curriculum includes career planning and preparation, self-assessments, completing job applications, interviewing skills, how to dress for employment, work ethic, cell phone/social-media appropriateness, self-advocacy, and other critical skills necessary to successfully transition to the next phase of clients' lives.

There are 20 other CRPs offering the CEO 2.0 this summer. All have their own variations on the program, but each will offer it in a virtual fashion for 24 hours of service in total per session.

NUSkool's class has received positive feedback from DRS staff, who are also sitting in on the sessions:

  • "Much, much more natural than expected. No delay in interactions. Just like people were across the room from Derick. Very impressed. I didn't think it would work this well. I truly wondered if this was going to work so poorly it would be a waste of money. I was wrong."
  • "I really enjoyed the Virtual CEO camp. I thought that NuSkool knocked it out of the park. They were able to split the camp with discussion and video inserts. I feel the kids were able to get as much out of it as if they were sitting in a classroom with him. I also thought the class size was great and he was able to get good participation from the students."