School-to-Work Transition Services
Via works with students, in partnership with their school districts and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, to create a personalized employment plan and explore careers of interest, preparing them for the next step after high school – community, integrated employment.
Students explore careers of interest with expert, one-on-one guidance from Via staff. Our experienced team develops sites within local business, industry and non-profit settings, offering students work-based learning experiences or job trials. Students gain valuable work skills and develop insights about adulthood throughout this process.
Who Qualifies for School-to-Work Transition Services?
To be eligible for this service, students must be between 14 to 21 years old, and must be enrolled in high school in Lehigh, Northampton, Berks, Carbon, Monroe or Pike county.
We encourage students and families to familiarize themselves with employment services early in high school, and we recommend they begin their application to the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation at least year one year prior to graduation.
What Does Via Offer?
Through School-to-Work Transition Services, Via strives to meet the individual needs of each student, meet the student where they are now, and evolve with the student as interests, goals and needs change as a result of this exploration.
Via provides students and families with:
- Career planning and exploration that includes:
- Work-Based Learning Experiences and Job Trials at sites that meet student’s interests and goals.
- Resume building, interview preparation, and portfolio development.
- Experienced staff who provide:
- Individualized, one-on-one attention.
- Assistance in applying for benefits through the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR).
- Help for understanding and accessing funding sources for other services like housing, community supports, etc.
- Continued support after graduation.
- Collaborative Resource & Team Development that:
- Works together with high school transition teams and becomes part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) Team.
- Help families cultivate support networks in the community.
How Does This Service Benefit Students?
School-to-Work Transition Services helps students by:
- Defining goals for employment, education, community inclusion and more.
- Fostering learning and work skills development, thus improving self-esteem.
- Acquainting students with employment community and establishing networking connections.
- Teaching students and their families to navigate a complex post-graduation support system.
What is the Process?
Once a student is referred by the school district, OVR, Intermediate Unit or by a parent/guardian, families meet with our staff to become acquainted and to explain services and expectations. Then, an intake meeting is held with the student’s team, and the information is processed through Via’s Admissions Committee, which meets weekly. The timing of the referral process varies depending on the availability of the team to meet for an informational meeting and/or an intake.
Once admitted, student begins working with their Via Job Coach to:
- Discover Personal Genius
- Determine what they like to do and can do well
- Discover hidden qualities, knowledge and talents
- Create Experiences
- Explore employment opportunities
- Participate in job try activities, to see if it is the right fit
- Go on informational Interviews
- Meet with professionals to gain career insights
Ticket To Work Program
Via of the Lehigh Valley is a Ticket to Work Employment Services Provider. Click here for more information.
For more information, contact:
Cortney Lakis, Director of Employment Services
C.Lakis@ViaNet.org | 610-628-2326 x501