Pictured: Colleen Smith, Instructor BEST program, and Shana Fair, Byesville Rotary President.
Colleen Smith, instructor for the BEST program, explained to Byesville Rotary that the Business Employability Skills Training program is designed to teach Guernsey County Developmental Disability clients the skills needed in the workplace. Smith pointed out that skills are taught both in a classroom setting as well on the job in real-life situations.
Smith stated that all the lessons taught in the classroom would skills that would be used on the job and in independent living situations. .Classroom lessons are designed to help DD clients be successful once they leave the DD program. These lessons included basic business office competencies such as telephone etiquette and basic computer skills, how to search for a job and fill out job applicants, and interview skills. Students spend 3 days a week in the classroom.
Smith stated that currently the BEST program serves a total of 16 clients. In order to apply to the program, parents and potential students must see a councilor first. Smith explained that students are evaluated on the ability to develop positive relations with other workers, their over-all behavior on the job, their attendance and their grades. The program lasts 2 years and provides 3 levels of certification based on the student’s grades and attendance.
Smith reported that hands-on work experience is provided in partnership with local businesses which include South East Med, Guernsey County Senior Citizen Center, the YMCA, and Goodwill. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, BEST students begin applying the work skills they are learning in a real-life job setting. At the hospital the students work at the front desk, deliver mail and specimens, locate patient rooms, and help check-in and dismiss patients. They can also work in materials management the dietary department, housekeeping or outpatient registration.
At the Senior Center, students help prepare the 450 meals the Senor Center delivers daily, and they work in housekeeping at the YMCA. At Good will, the students help sort and grade donated items.
Connect with Byesville Rotary at: www.Byesvillerotary.blogspot.com or https://www.facebook.com/pages/Byesville-Rotary/256548047818283. The club meets 7:30 am, Tuesday at the Stop Nine Senior Center at 60313 (GPS use 60299) Southgate Road, Byesville. Walk-ins are welcome at the club’s meeting.