On May 20, 2014, Turkey Valley Special Needs students and their parents met for dinner and to talk about work skills and the importance of work experiences to build careers. The importance of interest inventories as the first step to understand where to look for careers, as well as resources such as O*net and I Have a Plan to understand what jobs might be in those interest areas were discussed. Informational interviewing and job shadows to explore those career interest areas and understand what the jobs entail were explained by Jami Schwickerath, Iowa vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Ability testing such as Careerscope and the Career Readiness Certification from Iowa Workforce as an avenue to understand what a person’s abilities and interests are and then what jobs might be relevant to those interest and ability areas were introduced. Ms. Schwickerath discussed part-time employment this summer as juniors and seniors, as well as the advantage of volunteering to gain work skills in regards to dependability, reliability, work ethic, as well as to build a resume. The students and parents discussed career interests and potential jobs they would like to research for finding out more about possible jobs. It was discussed that IVRS would support each student to pursue one or two job shadows this summer to fully understand what jobs entail in planning for success after high school.


Thanks to the Turkey Valley Education Foundation for supporting this event!




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John Papp, Project Manager  from Iowa Rotocast Plastics, Inc. and Jami Schwickerath, Turkey Valley Schools' Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor.

Sophomores, juniors, and seniors in the special needs program at Turkey Valley High School toured 3 businesses in Decorah to learn about career opportunities and expectations of employers. The students toured Iowa Rotocast Plastics, Walmart and Wellington Place. Over 30 different jobs were highlighted on the tours explaining skills needed, educational requirements, and job expectations. The day included lunch at a restaurant where businesses lunches were discussed. The Turkey Valley Education Foundation made this valuable experience possible.


Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services


Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services works with students (and adults) with physical, mental, emotional, learning disabilities to overcome those challenges and find appropriate employment. They work with students to find their interests, skills, abilities and how they may translate to a career. They can help set up and coordinate job shadows and informational interviews for the students to learn about the types of jobs available and what job skills are needed for that career. On- the- job training to learn a job and tuition assistance to go to college for a specific program are also offered. VR comes to the Turkey Valley Community School monthly to meet with students and assist in planning for their vocations.