EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Fourteen students from the career development schools of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools are receiving a taste of the world of work through paid internships in partnership with the state Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services and Raritan Bay Medical Center in Perth Amboy.

Dr. Tracey Maccia, MCVTS Director of Special Education, said the goal was “to provide real-life work experiences where students can apply their academic and technical skills and develop employability skills.”

Maccia and Janice Fishbein, manager of the Middlesex County office of the Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services, organized the program.

Sign Up for E-News

The students, who work 12 hours a week for 12 weeks, will learn “to follow instructions of a supervisor, speak respectfully to a supervisor and respond appropriately to a supervisor’s criticism,” Maccia said. A few of the students will be provided with skills trainers by the state agency to assist with their transition to paid employment.

“Internships are a great way for a student with a disability to begin exploring work-based learning activities such as career awareness, career exploration, and career planning,” Maccia said.

One of the requirements for a student with disability to participate in the Pre-Employment Transition Services Program is an application to the state division and determination of eligibility.

MCVTS plans continue the collaboration with the state division throughout the school year, Maccia said.

MCVTS provides special education and related services to approximately 35 percent of its students. There are schools of career development on the East Brunswick and Piscataway campuses.

The Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School District, the first full-time county vocational school district in the nation, has seven schools on five campuses. More information is available at www.mcvts.net.