Special education students get real world work training from local businesses

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- A few days a week, some Madison County students take a field trip... to work.

It's hands on training for students with special needs, in hopes of helping them be prepared for a job after graduation.

Autumn Eaves and Andrea Guerra are hard at work. "I think it's really fun and cool because I love helping people," said Guerra.

These two tenth grade girls are with the special education program at Madison County High School, and they're proving they're up for any task. "We're going to clean bowling balls, vacuum and set up tables," said Guerra.

"They need to be prepared and have an idea of what work will be like when they graduate from high school," said Cara Clarke, Transition Specialist, “World of Work.”

Clarke says many times, those with special needs have difficulty finding a job after high school simply because they may lack the skills to land the gig. This class changes that by providing them with a variety of services to learn how to do. “I can find a job," said Guerra. "I can speak up to people and I don't feel shy as much," said Guerra.

They both now have the confidence to know they can do anything. "Because I'm comfortable doing it," said Autumn Eaves.

"That is a boost to the students, to see that they are valued and perform a valuable service," said Clarke. "They're some of the most loyal, hardworking employees that you could ever find."

The World of Work program is looking for other businesses in the area that can provide a working environment for the students to learn in. If you're interested in participating, please contact Madison County Schools Transition Coordinator, Kimberly Sweatt at 256-852-2557, or email her at ksweatt@madison.k12.al.us

They serve special educations students at Hazel Green High, Madison County High, Sparkman High, Buckhorn High, and New Hope High.