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Work Experience Program Promotes Students to Success

Brittney Marshall smiles to camera.Brittney Marshall first stepped foot on the campus of E. H. Gentry Facility (EHG) in February of 2015. Although she didn’t know it at the time, this first step would change the course of her life forever. Throughout her time at EHG, Brittney took a variety of courses from mathematics to home management. But it wasn’t until she joined the Work Experience Program in October that her experience elevated to the next level. 

The Work Experience Program at EHG is made possible through a partnership with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) and provides Workforce Development and Job Skills Training. During her first couple of months in the program, Brittney participated in Workforce Development and developed the skills and habits she needed to seek, apply, and interview for a job. She was able to take a variety of classes that covered career exploration, workplace communication, resume development, and networking! 

In November, Brittney started the Job Skills Training portion of the program. Designed to give students the opportunity to gain work experience or certification, students in Job Skills Training work in a variety of industries including automotive care, customer service, and landscaping. They also receive payment for their work; collectively, students earn six to seven thousand dollars each year. 

Brittney knew that she wanted to work at a daycare, so she worked at Granny’s House daycare in Talladega to fulfill the requirements of the program. As she neared the end of her time in the program, Brittney entered the job placement phase and was able to experience a smooth transition into full-time employment, working at the daycare for just over six years. Brittney’s next professional step brought her expertise closer to AIDB when she became a Student Life Advisor at Alabama School for the Blind.

Although the ultimate goal of the Work Experience Program is employment, it provides all students who participate with so much more. “It’s a program that can seriously help you,” said Brittney. “If you go in with a level head, you can come out with all of the tools needed to flourish in the real world.”