School to Work Alliance Program

The School to Work Alliance Program (SWAP) is designed to provide employment-related assistance to youth and young adults with disabilities, who are experiencing mild to moderate barriers to employment. Disabilities can take the form of physical, emotional, or learning disabilities. SWAP provides assistance that produces competitive, integrated employment outcomes and can help build career pathways for students through job exploration, work experiences, post-secondary exploration, workplace readiness skills, and self-advocacy instruction.

SWAP is a collaborative initiative between the Colorado Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) and local school districts, and is supported by the Colorado Department of Education (CDE). The SWAP program provides case management and direct services to youth who:

* Have mild to moderate needs in employment;

* Are applicants of or are eligible to receive DVR services (meeting disability documentation requirements and able to benefit from the program); and

* Need support to become competitively employed and to achieve successful community outcomes.

Purpose of SWAP

The purpose of SWAP is to provide successful employment outcomes, increased community linkages, and new patterns of service for youth within all categories of disabilities. The program's goals include:

* Building on current transition planning efforts;

* Filling the case management gap for the targeted population; and

* Supporting collaboration between DVR, the Colorado Department of Education, and local school  districts.

Typical SWAP Services

Clients being served through SWAP are eligible for services typically provided through DVR, such as evaluation and diagnostic services, vocational counseling and guidance, physical and mental restoration services, and training. Additionally, SWAP may provide services such as:

* Career exploration

* Career development

* Employment-related instruction

* Job development / placement

* Case management

* One year of follow-up

SWAP is designed to provide a new pattern of service that will enhance existing transition services and to provide employment services to an under-served population of youth. Unique components include:

* Year round community-based services;

* Case management services; and     
 * One year of follow-up services after successful       employment.