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February, 2018 Comments from local teachers about PAES


Austin, Minnesota, Sara Gilberg, Work-Based Learning Coordinator, Austin On-Track Program and Austin High School

  • I have a student working as a dishwasher at a restaurant. He was so turned off by seat work. He finally applied himself in the PAES lab. He has been working there for a year and a half.
  • I also have a student who is working in the local farm store, where he stocks shelves and carries out items for customers. He's been there for 3 years. He had a letter of recommendation from me from working in the PAES lab. His interviewer saw the letter and hired him on the spot.


Winnebago, Minnesota, Matt Neilsen, Work Based Learning for Southern Plains Educational Cooperative

  • I could share a positive experience or story about every student who has attended the PAES lab, but I will highlight a specific student who was very focused on being a fire fighter or police officer. Unfortunately, he does not have the intellectual ability to pursue these jobs. Through the PAES lab we all learned together (student, parents, teachers) that he has wonderful abilities and interests in the area of consumer/service, particularly with cooking aspects. His interest levels were consistently high, and his performance matched preference so he had clear aptitudes in this area. Because of the PAES lab he refocused what he wanted to do with his future, and is now working, very happily, in a grocery store bakery; weighing, measuring, and baking. All skills that were appreciated in the PAES lab.


Winnebago, Minnesota, Stephanie Stefanske, Southern Plains Educational Cooperative

  • We have quit a lot of success in students using their skills learned in the PAES lab to obtain jobs. We have one who is working at a grocery store stocking shelves and bagging groceries. We also have 4 who now work at an assisted living facility and now one who will begin working at Subway! Not only is it the skills we teach, but the self esteem they develop through their accomplishments of the jobs! It is an awesome experience to be a part of.


Buffalo, Minnesota Paris Brooker,  PAES Instructor, Wright Technical Center

  • I have 2 students working at restraunts after going through PAES, they learned how to work the cash register, fill out a time sheet, how to call in if they weren't able to make their scheduled time to work.
  • I have a couple of students working at their local grocery store stocking shelves or cleaning, learning how to sort with all the processing / production jobs or business/ marketing jobs. Just learning how to read a job card and follow step by step without asking many questions. They have also learned what they DON'T like and let us know.
  • We spend a lot of time on the consumer /service jobs and my students go home and are much more helpful in the areas of cooking/ measuring and even sewing. I get many phone calls from Parents and some case managers who tell me, PAES is their favorite class. We also work with money. Learning how to count change or just count money is very important. We make items with sewing they are able to take home or give for gifts, this way, they are repeating many jobs and are taking pride in their work. We also work hard on social skills which is a must, and we work on other behavioral issues that need addressing.


North Branch, Minnesota, Deb Goodman, Special Education Teacher/Program Instructor

  • Working with the cash register has been helpful and high interest for students who want to work in some form of retail
  • My students and parents have stated that the standing for 75-90 minutes has been one of the best lessons that our students have learned in PAES Lab. (Note: According to PAES recommendations, students "employees" work while standing at counter level tables for any of the PAES jobs that would require standing while working out in the community)
  • Another level of learning from the PAES Lab is that students learn how to do job tasks in a specific manner, following specific directions.


Ankeny, Iowa Jessica Dagel, Transition Coordinator & World of Work Teacher

  • I would say PAES lab jobs are a good way to prepare students for jobs. In my World of Work class, we have them do a mix of things during their class time-including PAES lab jobs. This mix of things gives them a great variety of vocational experiences and practice, as well as exposure to PAES lab jobs. This year I had two seniors move from the World of Work class (special education class) to an Internship at a job (gen. ed. class) at the semester & part of that was all the skills they had learned through the mix of experiences in World of Work class. Overall, I am thankful that some of the PAES jobs are in areas I'm not personally an expert in and could not provide them experiences in outside of those tasks.

PAES helps students attain their goal for competetive employment.