Community-Based School Employment

Community-Based School Employment – also called School to Work – is designed to meet the needs of young people who have disabilities or other barriers to employment, and who are currently enrolled in high school. The program strives to give students a solid foundation upon which they may build their career by giving them the opportunity to experience a variety of jobs in many different settings. Students discover what careers they like by exploring what they’re good at. Participants in this program collaborate with their school districts to develop vocational goals and opportunities that complement their educational requirements and individual interests. Examples of these opportunities include:

  • Fully supervised custodial crews visit businesses like The Salvation Army, and the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.
  • Independent teams provide laundry services at the Rochester Athletic Club. ABC coaching and supervision is minimal, because the business provides natural support to the people who work there.
  • Male and female attendants work with minimal ABC staff supervision, maintaining the locker rooms throughout the day at Mayo Clinic’s Dan Abraham Healthy Living Center employee fitness complex. The staff at the fitness center provides most of the support necessary for these individuals to succeed.
  • A team of Document Scanning Specialists work five days a week at a Mayo Clinic support center. With their ABC Job Coach to support them, they are completing a digital archive of Mayo Clinic historical photographs, books, and other materials.
  • A team of dishwashers works five days a week for Taher Food Service in a local school district. With the support of an ABC job Coach, their responsibilities include scraping trays, spraying trays, loading/unloading the industrial dishwasher and shelving clean dishes.
  • A team of recyclers works three days a week for Pepsi. This team is responsible for washing, sorting, and repackaging cans, as well as checking expiration dates and removing expired products from Pepsi’s supply chain.
  • Individuals with interest in computer hardware refurbishing are working alongside ABC staff and volunteers in the Ability Built Computers work area at ABC Rochester. In this work area, students clean, repair, replace or reinstall software and hardware, and take other necessary steps to make used computers ready to be re-sold.


Sarah Timmerman
Phone: (507) 535-7137
Fax: (507) 281-6270