2018 WWRC PERT Tour


– [Narrator] the PERT program at WWRC is an effective school-to-work program supported by the Virginia
Department of Education. The PERT program assists
students in their transition from high-school to post-secondary options by helping them answer these questions: What’s out there for me? What are my talents? What are my interests? what type of jobs might I enjoy doing? What skills do I need to become employed? And what do I need to
learn to live on my own? Currently, PERT is open
to accepting candidates from all public high schools in Virginia, and there are PERT staff
available to help you in every part of the state. The approximate value of
the program is $3,000. Students arrive on campus
for a 10-day program. Most PERT students reside in
Switzer Hall during the program but there are also residential
options for students who require supported living assistance. The first room you
enter is Switzer Lounge. PERT counselors greet
you and check you in. You then get your keys
from PERT residential staff and head to your room. After a few minutes to get settled, you return to the day room
and meet with the PERT staff who will be your guide for
the next part of the process. Students get their ID in admissions. The purpose of the ID is to
show you belong on campus and allow you to access
meals and equipment. After you get your ID, many students need to
stop by Student Health. There, a nurse checks your
prescription medication and makes sure you have
enough for the entire program. Now it’s time to say
goodbye to Mom and Dad. Your program has truly begun! Students wait in the Career
Lab for the counselor. The Career Lab is like a homeroom. There, counselors interview
each individual student and collaborate with the student to set up a plan of job exploration that fits their vocational goals. The PERT counselor is a
resource for the student for academics, typical job skill sets, and common aptitudes for each job. The students have a final say
in what areas they attempt. Intake day continues
with other orientations to get you comfortable with PERT, with the Wilson Workforce
and Rehabilitation Center, and with the rules. Students begin the
second part of their day with dinner the cafeteria. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
are paid for by the program. Snack machines, snack bar food, food ordered from nearby restaurants, will all be paid for by you. PERT residential staff take you on a tour to make sure you can
recognize the recreation hall, training building, and medical building. The day ends with students
being able to choose from several recreational options like playing video games,
bowling, or swimming. Tuesday begins with the walk to breakfast a little before seven a.m. PERT staff help students cross the street, and can give you an extra
nudge to get up this early. From the cafeteria, PERT
students walk to the Career Lab in the training building. Students are picked up from the Career Lab by their evaluator. The evaluation area has 27
different hands-on job areas for PERT students to investigate, and you get to explore one area at a time. Things like automotive body work, masonry, or other exciting fields. After evaluation is over
you meet with your counselor and play work-related games. When the game is over, the counselor walks you back to Switzer. You have about an hour free
time before you go to dinner and start the second part of your day. In your free time you can
play pool, video games, watch TV or use the student computers. For students used to
less activity at home, this schedule can be very busy. After dinner you go with your
independent living teacher to an assessment area. The PERT program assesses
dormitory and laundry skills, kitchen and medication safety, money management in shopping, and problem-solving self-esteem. After independent living, students can try another recreation activity. Later in the program
students will also take trips off campus with staff. Usually six weeks after
the program is completed there is a meeting at the
student’s school or DARS office. The local transition team,
the student and their parents, discuss the PERT report. The student gets to
share what they learned, what they liked, and what they disliked. The information is used
to plan transition goals for the remaining years in high school, and for post-graduation. PERT increases your chances
of finding and keeping a job that matches your strengths and abilities. We loof forward to seeing you at PERT.

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