AUSTIN – The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announced the kickoff of its 2019 Summer Earn and Learn program that provides students with disabilities, aged 14-22, work readiness training and paid work experience. The program is a partnership between TWC, Local Workforce Development Boards and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS).
“The Summer Earn and Learn program provides employers with direct access to their local workforce, which includes students with disabilities who are eager to learn and work,” said TWC Chair and Commissioner Representing Employers Ruth R. Hughs. “Employers who are committed to the professional development of workers in their industries and developing potentially long-term employees will find value in this program.”
Last year, more than 2,400 students participated in the Summer Earn and Learn program where they connected with employers who included Baylor Scott & White Health in Temple, KLBK TV in Lubbock and the Fort Worth Botanic Garden.
Throughout the program, students learned about the employers’ industries and developed specialized skills and work experience. Upon completion of the program, some students were presented with the opportunity to become employed full time.
“This program provides students with disabilities a firsthand view of the exciting careers available to them,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “Through Summer Earn and Learn, our youth return to school with a solid foundation of transferable job skills and knowledge of the workplace.”
Local Workforce Development Boards, who oversee the Workforce Solutions Offices, will collaborate with local TWC-VRS staff to promote the program and identify students and businesses who are interested in participating.
Students will receive work readiness training and connect with local employers where they will have the opportunity to do hands-on work for five weeks or more.
The students will learn about the employer’s industry and develop skills and work experience that will prepare them for successful transitions to postsecondary education and employment.
“Access to opportunities is often the difference between financial stability and hardships for many Texans living with disabilities,” said TWC Commissioner Representing the Public, Robert Thomas “I am proud to support the Summer Earn and Learn program as it provides a path for students and young adults with disabilities to gain valuable experience so that they can enjoy life-long careers as part of the robust Texas workforce.”