PLAINFIELD, NJ - Plainfield Public Schools’ community internship program has expanded this year to include students participating in Structured Learning Experiences (SLEs) with Maschio’s Foods, the district’s food service provider, for breakfast and lunch. The program, now in its fifth year, is the result of collaboration with the Union County Educational Services Commission.

“Our partnership with Union County Educational Services has opened doors in the community for our students in the Life Skills program. The experiences that provide our students with internships in a variety of work settings have been a vital capstone experience to their education in the Plainfield Public Schools,” said Elizabeth Filipatos, Director of Special Services for the district.

“It allows them to utilize the community based instructional skills that they have been practicing, learning and mastering over their years at Plainfield High School," Filipatos added.  "As with all capstone experiences, this culminating assignment allows for the solidification of skills that the students will be able to use throughout their lives, while simultaneously integrating them as vital members of our community. In particular, the internships offered by Maschio's Foods right at the high school have been an amazing experience for the students and staff.”

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Andre James is the Director of Food Service for Maschio’s operation in the Plainfield public school district. He released the following statement on behalf of the company:

“Partnering with organizations like UCESC who provide occupational training opportunities for students gives our company increased access to available workers. On-site training programs in the schools can positively result in fully trained and competent workers for the future. Maschio’s is happy to invest in the students here at Plainfield School District both for their own future and for the future of food service.”

Eleven high school students with special needs are participating in Plainfield High School's SLE program this year, working at at a variety of community businesses including Marshalls, CVS Pharmacy, The Woodland Nursing Home, ShopRite, First Step Childcare Center, and the Plainfield Fire Department.

UCESC also operates similar internship programs for Elizabeth Public Schools, Summit Public Schools, and Township of Union Public Schools.

School districts that are interested in partnering with UCESC’s Transition Services Department on an SLE program, contact Josh Bornstein, Director of Special Projects at jbornstein@ucesc.org.