|Aurora Workforce Collaboration
Crossroads Transition Center
16905 E. 2nd Ave.
Aurora, CO 80011 <map>
What is the Aurora Workforce Collaboration?
The AWC is a collaboration between 3 Aurora Public School Programs that work with students with disabilities: ACE, Transition, and SWAP.
- ACE (Alternative Cooperative Education) provides employment support for students in high school.
- Transition provides both employment and other support for students who have finished their high school academic requirements but may need additional support to transition to post-secondary life.
- SWAP (School to Work Alliance Program) “was developed through collaborative agreements among the Colorado Department of Education, the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and community based organizations to provide counseling and guidance, job development, job placement, on-the-job training and job-site support to assist young people with disabilities to become employed and self sufficient.”1 SWAP generally works with students after they have left high school, but still need employment support.
What does AWC offer to students?
The AWC offers students a continuum of coordinated services from high school to postsecondary life. Students can receive support in transition planning, career exploration, employability skill development, resume development, interviewing skills, job shadows, job placement assistance, internships, job training, job coaching, and postsecondary services exploration.
What does it offer to businesses?
The AWC provides businesses with a source of qualified, motivated, and reliable employees. Businesses who offer work opportunities to students are able to evaluate and train potential employees without risk, obligation, or cost (if they are unpaid work experiences). Businesses are also provided with an avenue to enhance public relations image by hiring employees with special needs. The AWC further provides supportive job coaching and additional support for these potential employees.
What other benefits are there for businesses?
Students who are placed with an outside employer through a work experience education program are covered for workers’ compensation purposes through Aurora Public Schools.
Businesses who offer students paid employment may become eligible for the Work Opportunity Tax Credit. “The Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is a Federal tax credit incentive that the Congress provides to private-sector businesses for hiring individuals from twelve target groups who have consistently faced significant barriers to employment. The main objective of this program is to enable the targeted employees to gradually move from economic dependency into self-sufficiency as they earn a steady income and become contributing taxpayers, while the participating employers are compensated by being able to reduce their federal income tax liability. WOTC joins other workforce programs that help incentivize workplace diversity and facilitate access to good jobs for American workers.”2
What work experience opportunities could students benefit from?
Work experience could include:
- Job shadowing: time spent with employers (1-3 hours) getting information regarding job descriptions, job codes, special requirements, and job availability
- Internships:An internship is work that is done in order to gain experience, build up a reputation and learn from the best. It also attempts to teach a student all they need to know about a chosen profession. The focus is on the job training, rather than monetary compensation. Benefits to the student:
- Receive an introduction to the world of work and working with adults
- Receive on-the-job training and gain work-related experiences
- Begin building experience and work-related references for development of their resume
- introduction to documentation involved in employment, such as student time sheets and internship work agreements
- Obtain work experience school credit toward high school graduation
- Participate in a type of community service
- Acquire helpful experiences in the community in preparation for transition from high school to the world of work.
- Develop relationships with adults on the job for subsequent job reference purposes.
- Work Crews: Work crews are composed of a group of students who work under the constant supervision of an Aurora Public School’s employee. They work for a specified number of hours in a community business for the purpose of developing employability skills.
- Competitive employment: Competitive employment allows students to get paid for work performed on the job. During their participation in related school programming, they are eligible to receive support for work-related skill development and issues.