Students Explore Careers and Gain Skills at Eastern Suffolk BOCES This Summer
Grant funded pre-employment transition services offer students insights into their futures
This summer at Eastern Suffolk BOCES, special needs students ages 14 to 21 were able to explore careers while also gaining workplace readiness skills and knowledge of various post-secondary options. Students sampled four different career alternatives including Culinary Arts, Animal Science, Health Careers, and Automotive. In addition to getting a taste of some of the career tracks that Eastern Suffolk BOCES offers, students experienced job exploration counseling, instruction in self-advocacy, counseling on post-secondary options, workplace readiness training, and work-based learning.
Sessions ran July 12-22, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the ESBOCES Career and Technical Education Centers in Bellport and Riverhead. This is the first year of the program, which is funded by a five-year grant from the NYS Education Department’s Acces-VR program. Acces-VR’s goal is to assist individuals with disabilities in achieving and maintaining employment and to support independent living.
Assistant Administrative Coordinator Erin Sellek, who secured the grant, said, “In addition to the hands- on component of this program, students have worked on narrowing down their potential career paths by taking career interest and strength inventories. They learned how to advocate for themselves in the workplace, and worked on many soft skills that they will need to get and keep a job.” The counseling portion of the program is very broad and dependent on the student and can include things like how to transition to college with a disability, access to trade schools, and more.
The goal of Eastern Suffolk BOCES is to provide a multifaceted educational experience for all students. The classroom is at the core of this experience, where students have an opportunity to acquire valuable career education skills.