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Pre-Employment Services for Individual Students with Disabilities Transition Services in N


Introducing the Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) Program, a comprehensive initiative designed to empower students with disabilities on their journey from school to the world of work, postsecondary education, or vocational training. Utilizing funds established under the Workforce Innovated Opportunities Act (WIOA) and in partnership with the New Jersey Department of Vocational Rehabilitation, this program is a valuable resource available at no cost to qualifying individuals in the state. Open to students aged 14-21 currently enrolled in school, whether in middle school, high school, technical school, or college, the program specifically targets those receiving special education or related services or determined to have a disability. Administered by PCIL, the Pre-ETS program engages students in one-on-one or classroom settings with a Career Navigator throughout their high school years. Through a series of assessments, career exploration activities, and work-based learning experiences, students uncover their vocational interests, skills, abilities, and personal traits. Activities such as mock interviews, resume writing/portfolio development, facility tours, job sampling, and job shadowing are incorporated to enhance students' awareness of available career options. With the support of PCIL staff, work-based learning experiences provide students with genuine exposure to the workplace, offering valuable insights into the attitudes and behaviors essential for success in their chosen field. Explore the possibilities and unlock your potential with the Pre-ETS Program. 

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Why Choose PCIL?

Progressive Center for Independent Living (PCIL) is an approved provider for NJ DVRS Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) in Mercer and Hunterdon counties. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation provides funding for qualified students, between the ages of 14-21, to participate in Pre-ETS classes through PCIL.  Through this program, PCIL assists students with different abilities with school-to-work transition services. Our support staff helps students prepare for making decisions and provides pre-employment experiences for success after high school graduation. Our structured training sessions offer individual and/or group instructions within Exploration Counseling, Work-Based Learning, Workplace Readiness Training, Self-Advocacy, and Counseling on Post-Secondary Educational Options. 

Five Components of Pre-ETS

Here is a PDF with more details on the various components available.

Thanks to the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), Pre-ETS are available to students and youths with disabilities to ensure they have opportunities to receive training and other services necessary to achieve competitive integrated employment. Services will begin with a locally qualified agency like PCIL, once a student requests or is recommended for one or more Pre-Employment Transition Services. 

1 / Job Exploration Counseling

Job Exploration Counseling curriculum is designed to guide individuals in their career journey and foster a comprehensive understanding of the professional landscape. Students first focus on foundational career assessment, helping participants identify their skills, interests, and values to align with potential career paths. Second, students evaluate how their disability may impact their daily living and explore work settings that will be appropriate for them personally. Lastly, the third concept equips individuals with networking skills, empowering them to navigate the competitive job market successfully to find leads and learn how to maintain and grow in their jobs. Together, these concepts offer a comprehensive approach to job exploration, enabling participants to make informed career decisions and pursue fulfilling professional opportunities. 

2 / Work Based Learning

This concept allows individuals will have the opportunity to gain experience about a career of interest on-site within their community. This gives students a much stronger concept of what it would be like to work in the specific field of their interest. These learning experiences may include job sampling, job shadowing and/or informational interviewing to help gauge their interest. Students will also create a resume, learn how to write letter of intent as well as follow-up letters to employers. 

3 / Instructions in Self-Advocacy

Here, students will begin to understand the importance of advocating for themselves by identifying their personal needs. Instruction on student rights and responsibilities within the educational and workplace settings will be reviewed. They will learn how to utilize informed choice and self-determination skills to help empower to help empower themselves. 

4 / Workplace Readiness

This service prepares youth to understand how to be successful getting and keeping a job. Sessions will cover steps in searching for employment, completing applications, interviewing skills and follow up, understanding employer expectations, work etiquette, financial literacy, and transportation skills. 

5 / Counseling on Enrollment Opportunities

In these sessions the youth explore the concepts on transition and post-secondary education. Youth will research post-secondary needs based on their career choices. They will discuss options based on their level of need, financial aid availability, learn to disclose their disability and seek proper accommodations. After identifying their interests, abilities and learning style preferences they review how to make appropriate decision-making skills using various executive functions that will create a path for them to take as they leave high school.  

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To be eligible, students must have a significant disability documented in an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or 504 Plan. They must require supports in order to be successfully employed. Complete the referral form below and email the form to Renee Pfaff, Program Manager. For assistance completing the referral form contact our office our trained staff will be happy to assist. 

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