Federal program assisting MHS youth with disabilities

Students in the PETS program look over police reports Ginny Rhodes from The McDowell News taught the students to read as part of her job. The students often get to hear guest speakers from a variety of career fields.

Foothills Industries partners with NC Vocational Rehabilitation and McDowell High School to offer Pre-Employment Transition Services (PETS) for youth and people with disabilities.

PETS is a federally-mandated program through the Workforce Innovation & Opportunity Act (WIOA).

WIOA is a comprehensive federal law, enacted on July 22, 2014, which is intended to streamline, consolidate, and improve workforce development and training services for various groups, including youth and workers with disabilities. Among other things, WIOA requires that students with disabilities who are age 24 or younger complete various requirements designed to improve their access to competitive integrated employment, including transition services such as PETS.

PETS also offers students instruction in self-advocacy and self-determination, job exploration counseling, work-based learning experiences, counseling on post-secondary educational programs, and workplace readiness training. PETS will improve their knowledge of employment options related to their interests, college availability and their rights and responsibilities as an adult with disabilities in the workforce.

Other services PETS will offer students include work-site tours, job shadowing, college campus visits, assistance with FAFSA, mock interviews, completing applications and resumes and many more.

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