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Students with disabilities gaining job skills through Texas Workforce Commission’s Summer Earn & Learn program

The Summer Earn & Learn program aims to place students with disabilities in fulfilling jobs in...
The Summer Earn & Learn program aims to place students with disabilities in fulfilling jobs in which they can learn new skills.(KSLA)
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 4:42 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - The summer months are fast approaching, and the Texas Workforce Solutions is looking for employers to help teens and young adults with special circumstances find employment.

Pete Cheatham is a graduating senior at Texarkana Texas High School. On Thursday, May 26, Cheatham was filling out paperwork for summer employment. Cheatham is blind, and for the second year is signing up for the Summer Earn & Learn program, sponsored by the Texas Workforce Solutions. The program places students with disabilities with local employers.

“Where they can gain work experience, real life work experience and transferable skills,” said April Corbit with the Texas Workforce Solutions.

“I think it gives me the opportunity to get out of the house, to learn different job skills and life skills, and how to do things,” said Cheatham.

This is the fourth year for the program. Workforce officials say there’s still room for qualifying teens to sign up for the program; they also say there’s a big need for area employers to provide jobs.

“Pete got to work in the office with us and he became part of the Heritage family,” said Bailey Gravitt with Heritage Home Health.

Gravitt’s company participates in the Summer Earn & Learn program.

“This program is amazing, so any companies, I believe, will be able to benefit from this, from this program, because they will learn so much like we did,” said Gravitt.

Officials say the deadline for placing students with jobs is June 1. Any students or businesses interested can contact the Texas Workforce Solutions.

“It helps me find different job skills in what I’m comfortable in doing and also the different types of jobs and how they affect me with my visual impairment,” said Cheatham.

Salaries for students in the program are paid for through the Texas Workforce Solutions, with no out-of-pocket expense for employers.

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