CCIU Student Gains Employment from Program’s Partnership

Mitchell Dever, left, a student in CCIU’s Transitional Work and Discover programs, has earned full-time employment at CTDI in West Chester. He is shown here with CTDI's Mark Parsons.

CCIUMitchell Dever expanded his resume this past school year and began participating in career-aligned vocational training at Communications Test Design, Inc. with the hope that his efforts would pay off in the form of a full-time job after graduation.

Dever, a student in the Chester County Intermediate Unit’s Transitional Work and Discover programs, participated in electronics and robotics classes at the Technical College High School in the morning and gained experience through an unpaid internship at CTDI in the afternoon, supported by a Discover job trainer.

Jill Stoltzfus, vocational specialist, and Rachel Ryan, Dever’s job trainer, worked closely with CTDI to identify appropriate positions for Dever to experience until he found a role that was a good fit for him and for the employer. Dever started by working directly with another technician on the repair team, then gradually transitioned to working completely on his own. He consistently advocated for himself and expressed a desire to be challenged.


“I worked with Mitchell when he was first getting started with us last fall,” said Mark Parsons, engineering manager at CTDI. “My experience working with him was very enjoyable. His positive attitude and eagerness to learn was a great fit in our work environment.”

“Mitchell is great to work with,” said John Dellar, repair supervisor at CTDI. “He is dependable, courteous, and intelligent. We are proud to have Mitchell in our repair department. He is a valuable asset to our CTDI team.”

Ultimately, Dever’s hard work and determination paid off. When he entered CTDI on his last day as a Discover student-intern, Dever was greeted by the hiring agency at CTDI and was hired permanently as an assistant repair technician. Dever is the first student from the Discover program to receive full-time employment, including salary and benefits, from the program’s newly developed partnership with CTDI.

“It is exciting to see the positive outcomes that can be achieved through effective transition planning,” said Laurie Masino, a CCIU community-based instruction supervisor. “It takes a collaborative team effort between the education team, student, parents, and the community to provide meaningful experiences for students to gain work skills for future employability.

“We partner with nearly 200 community business partners like CTDI to support the students’ transitioning from school to work – with the goal of making their dreams become a reality.”

CCIU’s Discover program offers students an integration of classroom and pre-vocational instruction with on-the-job training. Students with IEPs, between the ages of 16 and 21, are assessed for placement in group or individual settings within the community. Group and individual work experience varies in length and intensity depending on student ability, past experience, and student worker/employer match.

Click here to learn more about the Discover program.

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