GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV)-Michigan is home to approximately 1.3 million individuals with disabilities. Michigan Rehabilitation Services (MRS) provides specialized employment and education-related services and training to assist teens and adults with disabilities in becoming employed or retaining employment.

Michigan Rehabilitation Services, Ionia County Intermediate School District and local nonprofit ENRICH
are partnering to offer a summer employment training program for students with disabilities from our
local districts (Ionia, Saranac, Belding, Portland, Lake Odessa). The program will offer two four-week
sessions. If students choose to participate, they will fill out an application and interview for a position. Selected students will work three days a week for five hours each day. The positions are retail based, and students will stock shelves, run the cash register and also provide customer service. Students are compensated for their work by Michigan Rehabilitation Services.

The program goal is to build on skills leading to employment. A transition specialist will work with
students to determine what skills they will work on during their four-week session.

Martha Johnson, Board President of ENRICH said, “I hope the community will recognize the students and what they contribute to our community through this program.”

This is the beginning of transitioning from school to life after school for many students with disabilities. Some will finish with a diploma and others will participate in the Ionia County Intermediate School District’s transition program after high school to further develop their employment skills.

The Ionia County Intermediate School District works to create activities and programs that help students with disabilities develop skills to become employable within their community.

Currently, students have an opportunity to work with the Department of Natural Resources at Sessions Lake through the summer. This program provides a second summer opportunity for students with disabilities.

“We have been trying to add a second summer opportunity for some time. We are delighted to be able to offer this opportunity to students with disabilities within Ionia County, beginning this summer.” – Mark Sly, Administrator

For additional information, email Deb Wagner at