Navigating the shift from school to the workforce can be a rollercoaster of emotions, blending fear and exhilaration. As you approach your final years in high school, it becomes pivotal to embark on the journey of envisioning your future employment, considering post-school educational pathways, and forging meaningful ties with employment organizations in Cowlitz County.
Job Foundation Services
Click on the topics below to learn about Job Foundation.
The Job Foundation initiative provides more employment supports at an earlier age to help high school transition students leave school with a job at the age of 21. This is made possible through a partnership between school districts, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA), Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), and Cowlitz County Developmental Disabilities Program.
Watch the short video below about the Job Foundation program.
Job Foundation Report
Eligible students will connect with DDA-contracted employment providers, with the support of their teacher, to discover skills, abilities, interests, and support needs at an earlier age, increasing their chances of leaving school with a job.
Expertise and Supports
Participants will have access to employment experts and supports, such as assistive technology or technical assistance, to help create improved job outcomes for people with higher support needs.
Partnerships that Increase Results
Improved coordination between a variety of partners maximizes the specialties of each partner and provides continuity across service systems as the student prepares to exit school.
Who is Eligible?
DDA-eligible clients, aged 19-22, enrolled in and attending high school in Cowlitz County.
Compass Career Solutions
Compass Career Solutions' mission is to “Provide personalized services that enrich people’s lives,” and our vision is to “Be the service provider of choice”. This means we strive to be responsive and exceed our customers’ expectations. With a team of highly trained professionals, our focus is on helping individuals find and maintain jobs and housing that aligns with their preferences, interests, and abilities.
Compass is a current partner and service provider through the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and has been providing employment services in the Cowlitz County area for over 15 years.
Goodwill of the Olympic and Rainier Region
For over 40 years, Life Works has been instrumental in integrating the lives of those experiencing developmental and/or intellectual disabilities throughout the Cowlitz County area. Life Works Vocational Program is excited to start the integration-to-work-early program by assisting students who are getting close to the age of phasing out of the school-based programs and into a work environment by incorporating Job Foundation. Our Vocational Program has over a 78% client employment success rate. Life Works Vocational Services bridge the gap by assisting students with workplace readiness training, self-advocacy, job exploration, individualized support assistance, and many other important aspects for successful employment. As a local non-profit, we work closely with the students and their families who are experiencing developmental and/or intellectual disabilities to ensure that their transition from school into the work environment is as smooth as possible.
Employers Overload has been providing individualized job development, employment supports, and job coaching for more than 30 years in Clark County and has recently expanded to Cowlitz County. Employers Overload staff have experience working with students in Clark County who have completed Job Foundation.
Employers Overload’s goal through Job Foundation is to help identify and develop the student’s skills, interests and attributes to obtain paid employment by the end of the student’s school career. Employers Overload will provide community-based work experiences so the student can experience different employment options. Employers Overload will help connect the student to resources to support the transition from school to work including transportation services and applying to the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.
Did You Know?
The process of transitioning from school to adulthood necessitates early consideration within a student's Individual Education Plan (IEP) no later than their 16th birthday, and potentially even earlier if deemed appropriate.
In addition, it's imperative that, upon turning 18, students promptly assess their eligibility for Social Security Income (SSI). Regardless of prior outcomes, whether they were denied benefits or received them prior to reaching 18, this evaluation is indispensable.
The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) provides valuable short-term employment support options, accessible both before and after the age of 21. These short-term services remain available well beyond an individual's 21st birthday.