2019 Stories to Celebrate: Vocational Rehab Grant Helps Students Earn Job Skills with Local Businesses

Redmond School District’s Transition Program is a community based, full-day program for the special needs students who have graduated with a modified diploma. The students work weekly on work experience, job shadowing, internships, independent living skills, community access and adaptive PE goals. The philosophy of our program is “Where do you want to be when you turn 21, and how can we help you get there?”

In 2019, RSD’s Transition Center received a $19,900 grant through the Oregon Department of Vocational Rehab to offer summer employment to nine students in the program. Redmond School District partnered with Les Schwab, Grocery Outlet, Abby’s Pizza, Redmond Rotary, Hair of the Dog and Redmond School District to offer employment opportunities for students to gain real life work skills, learning trade in entry level positions. 

Thanks to these local businesses and the funds received from the grant, these nine students were able to work a total of 847.25 hours throughout the summer! The grant paid for the students’ employment, mileage/transportation costs, and for the program coordinator’s time. One student in particular, Juan Ortega, worked a whopping 247.5 hours!

Students and businesses were honored in early October with a special ceremony hosted by the Redmond School District Transition Center Team. Each student was able to receive a certificate with their hours worked and local businesses were celebrated for their participation in the program. The program was so successful that some students were able to gain employment after their experience! We’re so thankful to the entire Transition Center team for making this opportunity possible for students.