The WAY Program at BVS
790 Ridge Rd.
Lackawanna, NY 14218
Phone: (716) 828-7038
Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) Program
The Work Appreciation for Youth (WAY) Program was designed to help at-risk youth and young adults not only realize the value of education and work, but develop the skills they need to get a job and keep it. The WAY Program operates several worksites which help students build job skills that can be transferred into an employment setting. WAY provides a comprehensive, individualized program offering tutoring, job counseling, job readiness training, crisis intervention, life-skills workshops, and career exploration. In some cases, counseling for up to 5 years after discharge is available.
Most of all, WAY offers youth a chance at something they deserve — a positive future!
Baker Hall School and residential students, community programs for at-risk youth such as Wraparound and Bridges 2 Health, and Adult referrals from OPWDD and ACCES/ VR Supported Employment programs which include individuals with developmentally disabilities and with mental health diagnosis seeking competitive community employment.
Transition Services: We provide transition to adulthood workshops within IEP and diploma-bound high school classrooms. Focus on goal development, life skills and transition to adult life are a considerable part of the curriculum. Career exploration, educational options, realistic goal setting, interview and job search skills, and job retention are included. Support in self advocacy and guidance with pursuing adult supported employment services is also provided. Use of community tours, field trips and guest speakers are often utilized.
Supported Employment: The WAY Program provides job coaching and supported employment services through the OPWDD Enhanced Supported Employment Pilot, ACCES/ VR and Bridges 2 Health programs.
We offer individual job development, which includes planning and implementing of employment plans, resume building, mobility training, interview/ job search skills, job shadows, and interest inventories. Placement, retention and coaching services within competitive community employment environments are always an intention. Community based assessments are also performed under these services.
Community Worksites: We offer a variety of worksites designed to introduce our at-risk youth population to the work environment. Vocational training with focus on trades such as culinary skills, janitorial and fine arts and marketing are a portion of what we offer. Additional skills that are a part of our program are developing interpersonal skills, work ethics and appropriate peer interactions. These worksites are also utilized for vocational training, job development and assessments for our Enhanced Supported Employment participants. * All worksites are located at 790 Ridge Road, Lackawanna unless otherwise specified.
Current WAY Worksites include:
- Culinary Skills – Hours of operation: Tuesday/ Thursday evenings (4:15 – 8:15pm). Students work alongside an experienced chef at this full service kitchen. This worksite teaches the participants the skills required to obtain employment in a food service setting. Attention to knife skills, food and kitchen safety, food prep and kitchen procedures are a part of this program. * This worksite encompasses the Spice of Life product line, which are packaged rubs for specified cuts of meat. These rubs are prepared at the Culinary Skills worksite and packaged by the Marketing/ Jewelry participants.
- Catering Your WAY – Hours of operation: varies according to order. Students participating in the Culinary Skills Program typically will work these community catering events. Food preparation, presentation and customer service skills are learned and developed at this worksite.
- Cleaning Crew - Hours of operation: Thursday evenings (4:15 – 8:15pm). Participants works with a staff member to perform basic janitorial duties. Proper use of chemicals, cleaning supplies and cleaning techniques are acquired at this worksite.
- LunchWAY Café - Hours of operation: Monday – Friday 9am – 1:30. Serving and preparing lunch daily, our participants learn food service, food preparation, customer service and cash register skills. Routine set up and clean up of café and food safety are also learned at this worksite. Participants have a unique opportunity to interact with the public, as well as with each other as a team to complete each shift. The GateWAY Café worksite is located 3556 Lakeshore Road at the GateWAY Building, and provides a similar food service environment.
- Raindrop Creations/ Marketing - Hours of operation: Monday 4-6pm. Home to the hand-made jewelry production team. Led by a skilled professional fine artisan, this worksite creates a variety of items such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces, all of which are inspected for quality. Focus on fine motor skills, attention to detail and concept of design and patterning. Jewelry is available for purchase at locations throughout the community and craft shows throughout the year. Participants are often given the opportunity to sell the product at community events. Students also package the various products prepared by the Culinary Skills participants.