Work Experience Program Prepares Students for Life Outside High School

February 13, 2012 (Independence, IA) – Many students may view their future as either exciting or incredibly daunting. The students who participate in Jayme Beyer’s Work Experience Program feel prepared for anything. Beyer has been coordinating the program for the last six years and says it not only benefits the students who participate, but also the businesses who act as training sponsors and the businesses who eventually hire these students.

The Independence Work Experience Program is designed to allow high school students with an Individualized Education Program to explore various career opportunities and occupations in the local community. The Work Experience Program is a part of the transition process, which is an integral part of the students’ individual education plan.

Because the transition process is a big focus for this program, Beyer had the students attend the 2011 Transition Fair at Hawkeye Community College in November. Students participated in a number of work sessions, including “What Not to Wear”, where they demonstrated appropriate interview attire. Other sessions focused on teamwork, skill building, safety, and nutrition and health.

Many students enter the work force right out of high school and may have no realistic view of the skills necessary to find and keep a job. The ICSD Work Experience Program helps students to build sound job skills, work habits, attitudes, and develop realistic expectations by participating in actual job related experiences.

Beyer works with 56 local businesses as Work Experience Program Training Sponsors. These businesses have the opportunity to really make a difference in the lives of the program’s students. What motivates these businesses to participate? “It is an opportunity for us to give back to the community,” stated Ron Hearn of Cy & Charley’s. Sponsors provide students with vocational related education in areas not available in traditional classrooms and influence the student’s work ethic. Kevin Oberbrockling of Jensen’s Transport adds, “[The program] helps the kids learn the real world and what an employer expects from their workers.”

If you are interested in your business becoming a Work Experience Program Training Sponsor, please contact program coordinator Jayme Beyer at 334‐7400 ext.751 or


Media Contact
Jenny Yoder, Fusion Forward