Project Period
July 2002 – June 2006

The purpose of the Linkages to Employment Project is to develop an innovative model of transition-to-employment planning for students with significant disabilities. Linkages promotes movement from school to work or self-employment for students by incorporating individualized career planning and customized employment strategies into school and community transition services. The model incorporates the use of Social Security Work Incentives and linkages to Workforce Investment resources to augment what services and supports are available in rural schools and from local adult service agencies. Project staff provide hands-on assistance and training to staff in various Montana locations.

The unique features of this project model are the focus on self-employment as an option for work experience or career exploration as part of a transition curriculum and as a transition outcome in addition to more traditional supported employment, and the linkages to Workforce Investment resources as another feasible funding source to support transition of students to employment.

The goal of Linkages is to enhance the capacity of local areas to promote movement from school to work and self-employment for students with significant disabilities by providing support, training and technical assistance to schools, families, employers, agencies, and students. Over the four years of the project, an innovative model of transition planning using alternative resources such as Social Security Work Incentives and Workforce Resources, will be developed and demonstrated in two schools annually, impacting a total of six schools and at least 30 students over the four years.

Implementation Sites:
Year One: July 1, 2002 – June 30, 2003
Great Falls Public Schools
Bitterroot Valley Education Cooperative

Year Two: July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2004
Fergus High School, Lewistown
Bozeman Human Resource Development Council (HRDC)
Bozeman High School
Manhattan Schools

Year Three: July 1, 2004 – June 30, 2005
Glasgow Schools
Lewistown Human Resource Development Council (HRDC) (with Winnett, Winifred, Stanford and Lewistown Schools)

Project Staff:
Project Director: Ellen Condon, (406) 243-4134,
Great Falls Schools
Fergus High School, Lewistown
Lewistown HRDC

Project Coordinator: Kim Brown, (406) 243-4852,
Glasgow Schools

Project Coordinator: Lynn Moses
Bitterroot Valley Education Cooperative
Bozeman HRDC
Bozeman High School
Manhattan High School