Educational opportunity

Eager job seekers listen intently, take notes and soak up information hoping it will help them in their next employment opportunity.

It’s a break from the typical job hunt through Dale Rogers Training Center’s (DRTC) Employment Services Program, which helps people with disabilities find, train for, and keep jobs in the community. Today, a group of University of Central Oklahoma (UCO) students is putting on a presentation to educate them about what to do and not to do when seeking a job and working.

DRTC Employment Services Program participants and UCO students.
DRTC Employment Services Program participants and UCO students.

Elyse Barnett, Abby Graham and Jordan Michela, all seniors at UCO, developed the presentation as part of their Corporate Training and Consulting class, led by Dr. Christy Vincent. Working in tandem with Linda Sechrist, DRTC Employment Services Manager, the students conducted a training needs assessment and developed their topics and activities based off this feedback.

“The presentation was well planned, and the materials and handouts were appropriate for individuals in attendance,” said Linda. “The activities were not only instructional but also fun.”

Presentation praise

LaQuoya, seated left, enjoys the presentation by UCO students on job readiness.
LaQuoya, seated left, enjoys the presentation by UCO students on job readiness.

LaQuoya, who has done housekeeping work for 10 years, enjoyed the presentation, particularly the sections on being respectful and body language.

“I like to work,” LaQuoya said. “I want to do an office job.”

The topics covered also served as a refresher for some participants, like Evan, looking to find their next work opportunity.

Employment Services Program participants learn about job skills and readiness.
Evan participates in the UCO students’ presentation.

“I’m always on time,” Evan beamed. “I hope to work in the medical field.”

Employment Services Program participants learned about several topics, including the importance of making a good first impression, professionalism, and communicating with colleagues, customers and bosses.

“We hope you’re successful in that first day and beyond,” Jordan told program participants during her portion of the presentation.

“I felt like I had a personal investment in it,” said Elyse, whose sister has Prader-Willi syndrome.

“I think we had a passion for it,” Abby said of their collaboration.

More training to be done

For Abby, Elyse and Jordan, this is the culmination of months of preparation. However, their work doesn’t end here. Their full presentation will be used by DRTC’s Employment Services Program as part of its vocational preparation class and could even be used for the agency’s Transition School-to-Work Program which helps provide job training to high school juniors and seniors with disabilities.

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DRTC/UCO partnership

This isn’t the first time Dale Rogers Training Center has teamed up with students from the University of Central Oklahoma. Students with UCO’s Speech and Hearing clinic have provided therapy sessions, with guidance of a speech pathologist, every semester for people in DRTC’s various on-campus programs since 1999 on a weekly basis.

Dale Rogers Training Center (DRTC) is the oldest and largest community vocational training and employment center for people with disabilities in Oklahoma. With multiple locations in Oklahoma, DRTC trains or employs more than 1,100 people with disabilities per year. Visit us online: DRTC.org.

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