This summer Texas Workforce Solutions Offices, in partnership with Texas Workforce Solutions–Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS) staff, launched Summer Earn and Learn. The program helps teenagers and young adult students with disabilities, aged 14 to 22, gain employment experience and build confidence and skills for lifelong success. Following are success stories that highlight how the Summer Earn and Learn program positively affected the lives of young workers and employers.
Workforce Solutions Alamo
Maureen first learned of the Summer Earn and Learn program through Workforce Solutions Alamo Youth Services. After being selected to participate, Maureen was hired as greeter by the Alamo College Eastside Education and Training Center (EETC).
“Maureen’s primary responsibility was to welcome our customers,” said Alamo College EETC Supervisor Steve Duran. “However, she took initiative, watched another employee staff the front desk and instantly followed her lead. Maureen started answering phones and assisting students with other matters…always with a genuine smile on her face.”
Duran was so impressed with Maureen’s work ethic that he presented her with a $500 scholarship to help pay for Maureen’s expenses to attend San Antonio College. Maureen aspires to become a sign language interpreter.
“Participating in the Summer Earn and Learn program was fantastic,” said Duran. “I’d do it again in a New York minute.”
Workforce Solutions Central Texas
Before participating in the Summer Earn and Learn program, Dominique attended Workforce Solutions Central Texas’ (Central Texas) Employability Training, in which he learned the work duties and responsibilities of a recreational aide staff person.
After his training, Dominque began his summer employment with the Clements Boys & Girls Club Woody Hall Unit. Witnessing Dominque’s eagerness to learn, his Clements Boys & Girl Club supervisor provided bi-weekly reports to Central Texas on Dominique’s dedication to his job and positive work ethic and demeanor.
“Dominque was an extremely conscientious and hard worker,” said Clements Boys & Girls Club Unit Director Calvin Darthard. “We were impressed by how he motivated and inspired the students and look forward to participating in the Summer Earn and Learn program next summer.”
Under the guidance of professional counselors, Dominique assisted third and fifth graders with behavior modification. Clements Boys & Girls Club was grateful of Dominque’s desire to learn and the receptive interaction between him and the younger students. Clements Boys & Girls Club offered to retain Dominque after the Summer Earn and Learn program ended, and he enthusiastically accepted the offer to continue his employment. Dominque is also assisting the unit with its athletic programs.
“I enjoy coaching and motivating youth when they think they are defeated,” said Dominque. “I like to remind them that winning is a team effort.”
Workforce Solutions North Texas
As a young child interested in art, Holly always envisioned herself working as a graphics designer. When presented with the opportunity to be employed by a local printing company during the summer, Holly quickly accepted the offer.
Workforce Solutions North Texas partnered with employer Sawyer Printing & Promo to place Holly as a printing assistant within the company. Holly’s duties included assisting with print orders and creating graphic designs. She also learned basic management skills needed to ensure printshop workflow and operations.
“We were delighted to have Holly with us for the summer,” said business namesake owner Tim Sawyer. “Her keen interest of graphics design was a perfect fit for our company. Nothing but good came from the opportunity of providing Holly with a glimpse of what her future career might look like, and I know she will go far in her studies and the graphics design industry.”
Holly is currently a freshman at Oklahoma Christian University and majoring in Graphic Design.