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WorkAbility I

WorkAbility MDUSD LogoMISSION 

The mission of WorkAbility I is to provide the involvement of key stakeholders including students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to employment, lifelong learning and quality of life.

GOALS

WorkAbility I students will:

  • acquire and implement essential work-place skills        
  • develop and implement personal career plan
  • become positive participants and contributors in their community.

ARRAY OF SERVICES

WorkAbility I offers the following services for Mt. Diablo Unified School District students with an active IEP:

  • Career awareness and guidance activities
  • Exploratory work experiences
  • Information/registration with outside agencies
  • Guest speakers
  • Community/volunteer projects
  • Job coaching/supported employment
  • One-year follow-along services

The MDUSD WAI Program provides collaborative services to one Continuation school, five high schools, three special education programs (Bridge Transition Program, Alliance, and Bases), seven non-public schools, and eight alternative schools. WAI staff visit the school sites to assist with referrals, assessments, and pre-employment workshops; provide employment information; and support employed students. Workshops can include information on hygiene, applications, resume writing, and interviewing. Every year, job/career fairs are held at alternating school sites. Limited job coaching is provided to students at various worksites to build and maintain their capacity as supported or independent employees. Emphasis is placed on collaborating with students, parents, teachers (special ed and general ed), agencies, post-secondary programs, and the business community.

ELIGIBILITY

Students with an active IEP between the ages of 14-22 who attend school on a regular basis (90%) are eligible.

SERVED CRITERIA

The WAI funding model is based on the number of students "served". MDUSD currently is funded to serve 843 students. To qualify as being served, a student must be provided the following:

  • Career/vocational assessment (formal and informal evaluations of interests, skills, abilities, and personality)
  • Employment/post-secondary education planning
  • Partnership collaboration or parent participation
  • One service in the following: Career Awareness Activities, Career Exploration Activities, and/or Career Preparation

These services can be provided by case managers, college/career center staff, ROP programs, Regional Center, Department of Rehabilitation, general ed, special ed, school counselors, or community colleges. At least one of these services must be directly provided by the WAI Program, or documentation must exist of WAI's role in the indirect provision of the service.

SUBSIDIZED PLACEMENT

There are two types of subsidized placements, those that occur during the school day with support staff at the job site for specific amounts of time and those that occur after school or on weekends, with the student being on their own at a job site. Paid employment is determined on a year to year basis depending on state funds. Placements are not guaranteed.

Subsidized employment is available for students who are 16+ with an active IEP. No more than one subsidized placement will occur at a time. To maintain quality service for our students, priority placement is as follows: Bridge Transition Program (adults ages 18 -22), seniors/juniors on non-grad track, then seniors/juniors on grad track. If funding permits, other students with an active IEP 16+ will be considered for placement.

To be eligible for a subsidized placement a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a signed Social Security Card or a current U.S. Authorization to work card
  • Must have a 90% attendance at school
  • Must maintain hygiene standards as stated in the Rules for Working (see attached)
  • Not have any behaviors that would be deemed unsafe, unsanitary or inappropriate
  • Able to work independently unless part of a Community Based Instruction Program
  • Meet all work readiness criteria (behavior, attendance, hygiene, academic performance) as agreed upon by the WAI team
  • Currently not employed

The number of hours each student is paid is determined by WAI and is based on State funding and State and Federal Labor Laws. No WAI funds shall be used for overtime pay or holiday pay. Under the FLSA (Fair Labor Standard Act), employees may not volunteer services at for-profit private sector businesses. This is per the Department of Labor. Students cannot be paid for work that is deemed volunteer. Also, on campus WAI paid employment is prohibited. The employer or WAI representative can terminate employment at any time.

CA EDUCATION CODE

Section 56470:

The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(a) That an essential component of transition services developed and supported by the State Department of Education is project workability.

(b) That the workability program provides instruction and experiences that reinforce core curriculum concepts and skills leading to gainful employment.

(c) That since project workability was established by the State Department of Education in 1981, substantial numbers of individuals with exceptional needs have obtained full- or part-time employment.

Section 56471:

(e) Workability project applications shall include, but are not limited to, the following elements:

(1) recruitment, (2) assessment, (3) counseling, (4) preemployment skills training, (5) vocational training, (6) student wages for try-out employment, (7) placement in unsubsidized employment, (8) other assistance with transition to a quality adult life, and (9) utilization of an interdisciplinary advisory committee to enhance project goals.

 

CONTACT

WorkAbility I Office
Pine Hollow Middle School
5522 Pine Hollow Rd
Concord, CA 94521
(925) 603-1487
workability@mdusd.org