Job readiness fair helps students with disabilities - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Job readiness fair helps students with disabilities

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(KWWL) -

Eastern Iowa high school students with special needs got a jump start at planning their careers today with the job readiness fair. 

As many know, half the battle is landing the job interview. And the next, is nailing that interview. The job readiness fair is hosted by Grant Wood Area Education Agency (AEA). This marks the second year the AEA hosted this program for area sophomore and junior high school students with learning disabilities. The program is unique, in that it allows these students to get rid of those nerve before the big day. 

Over sixty students from around Eastern Iowa came to learn everything from the basics of filling out a job application to running through a mock interview.

AEA Special Education Consultant Megan Burk-Brunscheen says the program lets students get their feet wet before they take that big jump.

"They get to see how does it look and feel to interact with an actual person from an actual company like Target and Fareway, and so we have amazing-amazing resources from around here that helps us fill these positions today," said Burk-Brunscheen. 

Students also learned about the impact of social media, and to beware of what they post online. 

"They get a little nervous, and you can see some of them sometimes checking their phone," said Burk-Brunscheen. "And you hear often from teachers, I think they've deleted a few things from their account."

Students even got tips on how to dress for an interview.

The teachers who work with them day in and day out, said they see their students break out of their shell more than anything.

"I got to watch one of my students talk to another student from a district, and they found that they had a lot of similarities," said Williamsburg high school teacher Brian Schafer. "Not just in employment but in everyday life. So there's a lot of relationship building here and new friendships. "

The teachers say a lot of their students might struggle with reading, writing, or math skills, but their strong suit is that they're good communicators and can build relationships with people - all things employers look for.

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