May 20, 2021


Pre-Employment Transition Services for Students with Disabilities

Tacoma, WA – Students with disabilities throughout Pierce County will soon be transitioning from high school into the workforce. Thanks to a partnership between WorkForce Central, Vadis, and the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, this transition is made much easier for many students exiting high school.

The Pre-Employment Transition Services program was created to help in-school youth with a documented disability make a smooth transition into the working world. In this program, students learn the many skills needed to be successful employees while gaining real-world experience. The program offers workplace readiness training, individualized work-based learning activities, and up to 120 hours of paid work-based learning experience.

Students participating in the program must be between the ages of 16-21 and have an Individualized Education Plan, 504 Plan, or otherwise documented disability. Services are provided based on each student’s individual needs and driven by their vocational goals and interests.

Pre-Employment Transitions Services are made possible by funding from the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR). DVR and WorkForce Central provide coordination of the Pre-Employment Transition Services in Pierce County, and Vadis works with local school districts to provide the services for students.

School districts interested in receiving Pre-Employment Transition Services at their schools should contact Kari Haugen, Director of Workforce Partnerships at WorkForce Central, or 253-448-8283 or Benjamin Strong, Regional Transition Consultant at the DVR,




Kari Haugen, Director of Workforce Partnerships, WorkForce Central, 253-448-8283,
Joanna Rasmussen, Director of Communications, WorkForce Central, 253-213-2960,
Kathy Hall, Vice President of Program Services, Vadis, 253-863-5173,
Benjamin Strong, Regional Transition Consultant, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation,



About WorkForce Central
WorkForce Central carries out the vision of Chief Local Elected Officials and the Pierce County Workforce Development Council by coordinating, administering, and advancing the work of the workforce development system. Their work strengthens the Pierce County economy by identifying skill gaps between jobseekers and employment opportunities, fostering data-driven decision making, and connecting workforce development partners into a cohesive, collaborative, and effective network.

About Vadis
For over 40 years, Vadis has served people with disabilities. Vadis’ role is to offer expertise and resources to support individuals with their unique career path while meeting the needs of local employers. The people Vadis supports benefits from the excellent record of job match and retention.

About Division of Vocational Rehabilitation
State and Federal funds are used to deliver DVR services. The VR program receives approximately 78% in Federal funds and 22% in State funds. Pre-Employment Transition Services is paid for 100% with Federal funds. For detailed information on the dollar amount of Federal funds for the program, please visit

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