Donna Barney was the guest speaker to discuss School to Work services at the Rangely Lakes Chamber of Commerce (RCOC) Business After Hours Member Event on October 12th at the Outdoor Heritage Museum in Oksock.
In response to ongoing conversations about the need for more workforce, RCOC executive director Amanda Christian thought entertaining alternative solutions might be a promising idea. School to Work Services is a program that the Rangeley Lakes Chamber of Commerce is considering for future internships, but it’s also an area companies should consider.
Donna Varney, Rehabilitation Counselor II, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Maine Department of Labor, spoke about a program that provides transition assistance to students with disabilities and their families.
Applicants with documented disabilities that make it difficult to obtain or retain work are encouraged to apply. Students are encouraged, but not required, to apply two years before her expected high school graduation date so that they can plan for future employment.
Post-high school education can also be pursued if there is a specific future career that requires it, or if it is appropriate for other reasons.
Students and their parents are encouraged to visit www.maine.gov/rehab/dvr/youth_transition.shtml to better understand the possibilities.
Once matched with the right candidate, employers and employees can also enlist the help of vocational rehabilitation (VR) counselors along the way. VR could help us pay for needed medical and psychological services, as well as buy basic equipment, uniforms, or tools.
Employers may end up getting the help they need and even raise funds to pay their employees’ wages as a bonus. This is an idea worth thoroughly enjoying.
For more information on this program, visit www.maine.gov/rehab/dvr or call 800 741-2991.