The Reynolston General Store
The Pre-Employment Transition Services is one of the programs offered through WestBridge Vocational, Inc. within the Program Services Department. This Semester, Spring 2022, the Swain County High School PreETS Life Skills class embarked on a large-scale project to meet the requirements of the Industry Specific Milestone. The PreETS class simulated a general store for the first time, with the students acting out the specific jobs as positions. The students practiced all aspects of obtaining an assignment, from filling out an application to roleplaying in a simulated environment. The students were taught specific job skills of their choosing or that best suited their skill level, learned about teamwork and aspects of the job, and even discussed uniforms and why they are essential. A unique attribute was incorporating material used at Westridge Vocational Manufacturing Floor to demonstrate the versatility and use of scraps. The students were given the material, and the aprons were made. Each student made their apron and was given a visor and name tag to complete the uniform. On March 24th, 2022, we invited Swain County High School EC Administration, principals, teachers, and staff from both Vocational Rehabilitation and WestBridge Vocational to participate as customers to experience the store and see the work the students had accomplished. This was a great success and fun had by all in the process. Susie Bryson Swain County High School PreETS Specialist.
What is PreETS
PreETS stands for: Pre-Employment Transition Services. It is a specific set of services funded by Vocational Rehabilitation and other adult service agencies for students with a disability who are still enrolled in school. The program focuses on four areas:
Workplace Readiness training
This service is designed to help the student identify a job goal based on interests and provide training and tools necessary to interface effectively with employers for a work-based learning experience or future employment.
Job Exploration Counseling
This component will include completing a person-centered plan, a personal resume, and a mock interview. This service is provided 1:1 with the student. It is designed to help them identify a job goal based on interests and provide training and tools necessary to interface effectively with employers for a work-based learning experience or future employment.
Work-Based Learning Experience (WBLE)
The student participates in one unpaid or paid temporary work experience as the Counselor, and the student agrees. The site’s location will be targeted based on the student’s interests and the consensus of the student’s team. The goal of the experience is to provide information that will help the student determine a path toward employment.
The process involves observation, personal interviews, and stakeholder feedback to gather information on skills, interests, personal network, learning style, preferred environments, and ultimately goals and action items about a career path and support needs.
Kim Holt, EC Life Skills Teacher, wrote:
“I want to brag on my students, colleagues, and I. We did a big unit on careers with a focus this year on jobs you’d find at a store. We started by discovering and discussing jobs in a store. Then we watched videos. We then practiced applying/applications and learned how to interview. We then went to a store and did a scavenger hunt for jobs & departments in the store, using the iPad to get pics of each. They then practiced the jobs. Then students had to officially apply to our “store” by filling out the application. They then interviewed for their job. The culmination of it all was a simulated store we set up with visitors and admin as our “customers.” I am so PROUD of the students and my colleagues, Bill Reynolds & Della Sue Bryson, for co-teaching it with me. Very successful unit!”
We are very proud of the hard work the students put into the Reynolston General Store and hope it helped them experience all the hard work they need to prepare for their future.