Youth and Pre-Employment Transition Services

Helping Montana’s youth with disabilities get PREPARED, CONNECTED and ENGAGED!

 PREPARE - Get ready!

CONNECT - Get the tools you need!

ENGAGE - Live your life to its fullest!

In order to help young people transition into careers and life VRBS has undertaken initiatives in 3 areas. 

  1. Enroll younger people in our program.  VRBS is able to start services at the age of 14.
  2. Contracting with high schools to provide pre-employment transition services.
  3. Projects to support youth with their transition needs.  Examples are the Montana Youth Transitions program, Montana Youth Leadership Forum, and Movin’ On, campus experience programs at U of M and MSU-Billings. 

Want to know more?

Youth Transition Services

Exciting Changes to the World of Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services:

The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) set VRBS and the rest of our nation’s public vocational rehabilitation agencies on a new path.  The new path requires VRBS to serve high school youth with disabilities much earlier than before with a new set of services called Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS).  Perhaps the most amazing characteristic of Pre-ETS is its collaboration between high schools and VRBS.  The WIOA wants schools and VRBS to work together to deliver Pre-ETS within the educational setting.  The change is relatively radical for VRBS because our model of service is one based on serving individuals through a vocational plan.  VRBS provides its individualized services directly and through its network of community-based providers.  The new WIOA model requires VRBS to step away from its past practices and to network with schools with services that look and feel more like regular high school classes than traditional VRBS case services.  VRBS still delivers those case services, but we now emphasize the delivery of Pre-ETS in the school setting.  In fact, high school students with disabilities do not have to be VRBS clients.  Pre-ETS are open to all students with disabilities, even those who have no intention of applying to VRBS.

VRBS is currently contracting with school districts to deliver Pre-ETS in high schools.  These in-school Pre-ETS may be supplemented by traditional VRBS case services.  At all times, Pre-ETS must be delivered in the spirit of work in the community for livable wages and without the use of subminimum wages.

The WIOA is grounded on the premises that disability is natural and that people with disabilities have a right to make informed choices about their lives.  With the new school-VRBS collaborations, we hope to build choices for youth with disabilities that will land them the careers that fit their interests and capabilities.

Contact Information:

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services
111 North Last Chance Gulch, Suite 4C
PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604-4210
1-877-296-1197 (toll-free consumer line)
(406) 444-2590 (voice/TTY)
(406) 444-3632 (fax)