Human resource managers fair proves helpful for students

By: Maria Allard | Warren Weekly | Published March 26, 2016


WARREN — Approximately 60 local high school students with disabilities learned valuable information about finding a job when they participated in a human resource managers fair March 23 at Cousino High School.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services, JVS and Warren Consolidated Schools partnered together to present the third annual human resource managers fair. The purpose of the event was to help students with disabilities find jobs and transition into the working world. During the fair, local business representatives discussed employment practices, application procedures and conducted mock interviews.

The Cousino students welcomed their peers from Neil Reid, Warren Mott, Center Line and Warren Woods Tower high schools, and the Academy 21 program.

“We had different businesses come in with their managers and explain to us what they’re looking for and how to present yourself in front of them,” Cousino junior Cameron Rohelier said.

Seniors De’Ja Cabe’an and Rhapsody Schmidt felt it was a worthwhile experience.

“I know what to expect at a job interview,” Cabe’an said.

“And how to prepare ourselves to go on an interview,” Schmidt added. Schmidt was among several students who made cookies and cupcakes the night before for the resource managers fair.

Senior Jarrett VanderLinden was one of the students who experienced a mock interview.

“It was all right. It was nerve-wracking,” he said. “They just asked simple questions and were just educating us for an interview.”

The other Cousino students — the majority of them seniors — who participated included Juwan Jackson, Robert Levi, Elijah Shahid, Armani Harris, Kaelei Doolin and Erik Quinn. The students all aspire to attend college and pursue a number of careers, including culinary arts, law enforcement, health and science, chemical engineering, and nursing.

Katie Sheen, vocational counselor at Michigan Rehabilitation Services; WCS transition coordinator Jill McCloskey; Cousino special education teacher Chuck Flemming; Warren Mott special education teacher Josh Weston; and Robin Long, from JVS, worked together to put the fair on.

“We have a plan for all of our kids when they leave Cousino High School so they know where they’re going next,” Flemming said. “We try to have each of our kids have a transition plan.”

JVS, which has an office in Southfield, offers a number of services. Long works with local high schools to help students master employment skills and also matches them up with employers.