During the 2018-2019 school year, Alesha (age 15) was given the opportunity to receive Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS) from Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services’ (CMJTS’) Youth Program. These Pre-ETS services, were designed to give high school students managing disabilities the chance to work with peer groups to explore careers, improve financial literacy, and develop both work readiness and self-advocacy skills.
Alesha became a top contributor in her Pre-ETS group and her employment specialist, Mel, quickly determined that she was ready to apply her skills on-the-job. While only 15, it was evident that Alesha was motivated and had a strong work ethic. Mel connected Alesha with the local food shelf and she was hired as a CMJTS work experience participant. While enjoying the rewards that come with earning a paycheck, Alesha gained real-life experience and developed a foundation of work skills to apply in the competitive workplace.
When asked about her job at the food shelf, Alesha said; “Working here, I feel I learned how to communicate with someone who doesn’t speak English that well and get them what they needed. I really like this program because now, when I apply somewhere else, I have a recommendation and experience working in a grocery store-type setting. If I didn’t get the work experience, I probably wouldn’t even have a job at the moment. It’s hard to find a starting job when you’ve never had a job because lots of companies like people that have experience.”
Because she knows her CMJTS work experience position at the food shelf is winding down, Alesha is job searching with vigor! She is moving forward with the skills and confidence, as well as good references!