Gaining valuable work experience through state funded programs

Our Programs

WorkAbility 1

  • The mission of WAI is to promote the involvement of key stakeholders including students, families, educators, employers and other agencies in planning and implementing an array of services that will culminate in successful student transition to competitive integrated employment (CIE), lifelong learning and quality of life. 

  • The WAI program provides comprehensive pre-employment skills training, employment placement and follow-up for high school students in special education who are making the transition from school to work, independent living and post-secondary education or training. Program services are appropriate to individual student needs, abilities, and interests.

  • The WAI program seeks employers in the business community who will give students with special needs a chance to prove themselves in a competitive integrated employment setting. Local program sites successfully coordinate state and local service providers to offer comprehensive services tailored to local economic, social, and geographic needs and abilities.

  • The Transition Partnership Program builds partnerships between local education agencies and the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR) for the purposes of successfully transitioning high school students with disabilities into meaningful employment and/or post-secondary education.

  • The DOR assigns vocational rehabilitation counselors to be actively involved with the students and local education agencies. The DOR counselor determines eligibility and provides enhanced vocational rehabilitation services for at least one year prior to the student's graduation.

  • The local education agency provides exclusive training and enhanced vocational programming to enable students to achieve employment utilizing community-based instruction, vocational and work-site training, job placement, and follow-up services upon graduation.

Transition Partnership Program


Places to work

  • Bellisima Salon

  • Foothill Unity Center

  • Marshalls

  • The Arboretum and Botanic Garden

  • TJMaxx

  • Homegoods

  • Wendys

  • Irwindale Speedway

  • Huntington Oaks Center

  • Grocery Outlet-Duarte

  • Monrovia Auto Body

  • REI

  • Walgreens-Arcadia

  • Boys and Girls Club

  • Big Lots-Duarte

  • Simply Divine Salon/Barbershop

Am I eligible to participate?

If you can answer yes to all of these questions, then you are eligible.

  • For WAI-

    • Do I have an IEP? 

  • For TPP-

    • Do I have an IEP or a 504 plan?

  • Am I at least 16 years of age?

  • Is my GPA at least a 2.0?


How do I get started


  1. Did you complete the career assessment?

  2. Did you get a teacher recommendation?

  3. Did you complete the interest survey?

  4. Did you meet with Kymberly

How to prepare for interview

You’ve Got Questions. We’ve Got Answers


Checklist: 7 Ways to Prepare for a Job Interview


Here are some key things to get sorted when you're preparing for a job interview:

☐ 1. Know where you’re going.

This one might sound obvious, but many people leave home without the address or their contact’s name. Write down the address and the name of the person you're meeting (and their phone number if you have it), or put it in your phone.

Look up the address on a map in advance so you know exactly how to get there. Make sure you check the timetables if you’re getting there on public transport.


☐ 2. Don’t be late!

Give yourself plenty of time to get there so you’re not flustered and sweating. Aim to arrive at the interview at least 15 minutes early.


☐ 3. Dress to impress.

Even if you’re going for a job where you’ll have to wear a uniform or overalls and get down and dirty, make sure you’re wearing clean and ironed clothes. That way you will appear committed and professional. Never wear denim or a hoodie. 


☐ 4. Sniff the pits!

Make sure you’re showered, deodorized and smelling pleasant and your hair is clean and tame. Don't use too much perfume or aftershave though!


☐ 5. Bring your resume.

Take a copy of your resume with you and refer to it during the interview if you need to. Read over it on the way, or while you're waiting for the interview to start.


☐ 6. Do your research.

It's important to know the company and know what the job requires. If you can, visit their website and see what they have to say about themselves. Do a search for them online to see if they’ve been in the news. If you can, try to find other people who work for the company so you can ask them some questions.


☐ 7. Prepare your answers.

You should prepare some answers to the questions you're expecting. You should also prepare some questions to ask them yourself. Some common questions you could prepare answers for are on the next page.

12 Common Job Interview Questions


Here are some common interview questions and some quick tips for ways you could answer them.

1. Tell us about yourself.

  • Talk about school and work - don’t talk about your personal life.

  • Be brief - try to speak for no more than two minutes.

  • Use this as an opportunity to demonstrate your communication skills.


2. What do you think this position involves?

  • You can only properly answer this if you’ve researched the company and the job.

  • Pay attention to what they say about the job and the company, then try putting it into your own words.


3. Why do you want this job?

  • Show that you know about the company and prove you’ve done your homework.

  • Tell them why you’re the right person for the job.

  • Don’t sound like you’re desperate!


4. What are your strengths?

  • Know at least five things you’re good at.

  • Make your strengths relevant to the job.

  • Keep your answers short.


5. What are your weaknesses?

  • Turn a negative into a positive.

  • Talk about what you’re doing to overcome your weaknesses.

  • Make it relevant to the job.

6. Tell us about a time when things went wrong and what you did to fix it.

  • Prepare two or three examples in advance.

  • Make your examples relevant to the job.

  • Show that you have initiative.

7. How do you deal with conflict in the workplace?

  • This question tests your ‘people’ skills.

  • Conflict could be a conflict of opinion or ideas.

  • Conflict could also be a personality clash.

  • Not all conflict is negative - it can inspire creative solutions to problems.

  • Demonstrate your ability to resolve issues.

8. Give us an example of how you have worked as part of a team.

  • Prepare an example that demonstrates how you fit into a team - you could either be the leader or the one who's good at following orders.

  • If you don’t have paid work experience, talk about work experience you’ve done for school, volunteering, school projects, sport or a hobby group you belong to.


9. What has been your biggest accomplishment so far?

  • You don't have to have done something earth-shattering - small things done well can be just as impressive.

  • Think of something you've done at school or work that you're proud of or happy with.

  • If you're just starting out in work you could talk about what you hope to accomplish in the future.

  • Be honest - don't make anything up!


10. What are your goals? Where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Talk about work or study - don’t talk about your personal goals.

  • Try to connect your goals to the company and the job.


11. When can you start and what’s your availability?

  • It's important to know the answer to this one before you come to the interview.

  • Do you have to give notice to your current employer? Check your contract or agreement.

  • Do you want to take a break between jobs for some rest and recreation?

  • Are there any days or times you’re not available?

  • Try to be flexible.


12. Any questions for us?

  • It’s OK to ask the interviewer about the salary range during the interview.

  • Try to ask specific questions about the company and the role

  • If you’re stuck, ask:

    • How would you describe the culture here?

    • What would I be expected to do on an average day?

    • What would be the top three priorities for this job?


Post High School Resources

What’s Coming Up

Check back here from time to time to see what events are coming up.


Indivual Transition Plan

This sheet will give the IEP team ideas on how to assist you with your post-secondary goals.

Apply to    community college

If you want to attend community college download these easy step by step directions to help you get started.

Financial Aid  resources

Click on the links below for the FAFSA application and the directions.


Do you want extra resources to help with navigating life after High School? Please click on any of the links below.

College Fair


Do you want more information on a specific college? Do you need to figure out where to go to college at? Come check out our College Fair

Transition Fair


Come to San Gabriel Valley ROP where you can get information about resources for after High School.

Community College Campus Tours

Join your fellow students on a campus tour of the local community colleges. Learn where the departments are on campus and learn how to get support.

Citrus College


Pasadena City College 



Pleases reach out if you are interested in more information.


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