EmploymentThe employment program is designed to help students develop work readiness skills and learn what their talents, knowledge and skills are in relation to employment. Each jobsite has a job coach that helps students learn and develop the hard and soft skills of employment, including: critical thinking, working with others, organization skills, creative thinking, conflict resolution, adapting to change, solving problems and communicating clearly.
Students in the employment program participate in a variety of in-house and community work experiences that best meet their skill level and work readiness level (simple to complex). Students are evaluated in four area of work related behaviors: Social Behavior, Communication, Appearance and Employability Skills. The work coordinator and job coaches work with the employer to help support them as questions or concerns become apparent. Some students have been successfully hired by our participating and local businesses.Quitin worked at Meijer where he learned how to stock shelves, interact with customers and read UPC labels. From his experience, he applied and was hired at Buffalo Wild Wings. He started with coating wings in sauce for the cooks, but has now transitioned into cooking the wings. “I really enjoy working at Buffalo Wild Wings. I like the people I work with and I really like learning new skills.” He also stated that, “I think my work experience at Meijer helped me be more confident in my abilities.”Rose also worked at Meijer in the bakery. Mike, the store director, had this to say about Rose, “We know we are not going to run out of cookies when Rose is working.” She did such a great job in the bakery so they hired her to help them stay on top of their cookie demands.Sergei worked at TSI, the Radisson and Heritage Community of Kalamazoo. He did so well working with the residents at Heritage they hired him to work in the kitchen. He will be washing dishes, serving drinks and assisting any resident that may need assistance. Sergei says, “I really enjoy helping the residents. Helping them makes me feel good about myself.”Hunter worked at KVCC and the Radisson. He is currently employed at Jet’s Pizza part-time. He feels that his work experience has, “given me the confidence to try new things at the job site. I really like being able to do all the tasks at the job, I like making pizza a lot but I answer the phone and run the register too.”Marcus worked at Meijer and is currently employed at Little Caesars. Dave at Meijer really liked his work ethic and could take him to different departments to work independently. He knew the job would be done correctly. Marcus likes Little Caesars and says, “It’s pretty easy and I like the people I work with.”Work Experience with the YAP at the Radisson Hotel