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VIDEO: 'You're Hired!' Program Gives Special-Needs Students Working Experience

The programs open the door for special needs students to get real working experience and gives them the opportunity to find employment within the city

For the past few weeks, six special needs students from have gotten the chance to work in local businesses to gain hands-on experience.

The students are all participants of Transition U — a collaboration launched by Patti Thoman that connects North Canton City Schools and and gives special needs students a college experience. But within Transition U, the students also are participating in “You’re Hired!” — a hands-on work experience (think of it as an unpaid internship) for all six students.

They work inside a variety of businesses (this month it was , and ), and the hope is that each student gets hired part-time at one of the participating businesses. Each business that hires a Transition U student receives a $500 grant toward their future wages, courtesy of New Work City Foundation.

Vicki Stanley, founder of New Work City Foundation, said she created the You’re Hired program after a similar program involving fifth-graders ended. She talked with Thoman about offering the program to her students.

“The idea is very similar,” Stanley said. “Instead of going for one hour on one day, they’ll go for two hours in teams of two. They rotate businesses so each student gets to go to each business. The idea is to not just give them exposure to work out there, but to give businesses exposure to them.

“They really are employable. I don’t think people really understand what they can contribute to the city.”

Students involved in the program, in addition to Tedrow and Sutter, are Kristen Hall, Chelsea Jacobucci, Hannah Roberts, Billie Stevenson and Kelly Stevenson.

Stanley said any business that wants to get involved in the You’re Hired program should contact her.

“I’m hoping by getting out and getting them in these businesses, everybody falls in love with them, just like me, and hires them.”

Kristie Woods January 19, 2012 at 02:50 PM
This is wonderful (though not surprising)! Tim and Alyssa spent time working with staff and residents at St. Luke Lutheran Community last year. They were a pleasure and a blessing to work with. There is so much to be gained from everyone involved. We are pleased to partner again with North Canton City Schools this year with new students. Congrats to Tim and Alyssa, Ermanno's Legendary Pizza, Dansizen Printing, American Medical Response, New Work City, Walsh University and North Canton City Schools for strengthening our community! Way to go!
Lisa Lynch-Frank January 19, 2012 at 02:51 PM
Love it! Thank you Morgan for highlighting these wonderful students and awesome program!
John Allensworth January 20, 2012 at 02:36 PM
This truly shows community involment and commitment. Thanks and kudos should go to North Canton Schools, Walsh University, New Work City Foundation, and the businesses involved in this unique proram. All of us should help find other businesses to get involved.in this project that is writing the next chapter in the history of our community.

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