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Via of the Lehigh Valley: School-to-Work Transition Services

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 Paid Work Experiences or Job Shadowing. 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 or Northampton counties.

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 a year to two years 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:
    • Paid Work Experiences and Job Shadowing at sites that meet students’ 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, benefits counseling, community supports, etc.
    • Continued support after graduation.
  • Collaborative Resource and 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 help 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, the student begins working with their Employment Specialist 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 assessment 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:

Alivia Sinko, Director of Community Employment
A.Sinko@ViaNet.Org | 610-628-2326 x502