Local Employer Provides Opportunities For All

Drew Rush is a Junior at Corinth Holders High School in Clayton. He joined the Pre-Employment Transition Program (preETS) in 2018. JCI offers the preETS program in partnership with Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Johnston County Public Schools, and local employers.

PreETS aims to prepare students (with barriers to employment) for life and career after high school by providing in-person and virtual career services and opportunities for work-based learning.

Drew participated in many preETS activities since joining, including work readiness, self-advocacy, and career exploration workshops and classes. Most recently Drew participated in a Job Sample at a new local employer, Brew to Brew. For this work-based learning activity, Drew accepted the opportunity to “sample” a position at Brew to Brew to practice work readiness skills and explore potential job opportunities.

After one day of sampling at Brew to Brew, he was offered a part-time position and began soon after. He learned his job duties quickly and worked hard to conduct himself professionally. Drew communicates effectively with the team at Brew to Brew and with customers.

“Drew takes the initiative and is always ready to do the next task,” Julie Rowe, owner of Brew to Brew reports. “From our first experience in this concept with special needs individuals working with us, this has been a positive experience. First sample, first job. He set the bar high!”

For Drew, this is only the first step in his career journey. “I want to work here for a long time and then be a recreational worker,” Drew shared.

In his future career, Drew will continue to receive support and guidance from preETS, all of its partners and from his family.

Amanda Reader, Drew’s preETS Transition Specialist, is excited to see Drew continue to grow. “I am very proud to watch Drew grow since first joining the preETS program. Drew’s hard work and the hard work of all preETS partners and Drew’s supportive family have positioned him for success in his future career!”

Nichole, Drew’s mother said, “Since Drew was born, we told him to be his best self. Whatever that is. He has exceeded all of his personal and doctor goals. He is on the track and golf teams at school and got a job. None of these were in his plan from his psychologist in the beginning. Never give yourself barriers. You can exceed all goals if you have the support you need. I’m so proud that he’s working.”

Brew to Brew  has proven to be a committed partner in efforts to prepare tomorrow’s workforce. As proudly stated on the wall of the cafe – “Our Brew to Brew crew is so happy to be a part of this community! We proudly hire special needs, veterans, and empowered females. Individuals who work hard to bring you locally sourced ingredients, specialty baked goods, and handcrafted beverages. We strive to create an inclusive, family-friendly atmosphere where you can enjoy the best NC has to offer!”

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