The Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind reported to Historic City News that three employers were honored during its first annual “Outstanding Employer of the Year” event on May 30; recognizing campus and business partners that participate in the school’s Career Development Program.
The Career Development program is a work-based learning program in which local community and FSDB employers sponsor high school students at their job sites.
This year, sixty-one campus and St. Augustine community business partners sponsored 76 students as part of the program.
The Outstanding Employers selected were:
Winn Dixie N., Store #182
Ashley Dalia, FSDB Blind Department Teacher
“There were 39 different job classifications in which our students trained in very specific job skills, as well as had the opportunity to practice those soft skills that are very important to employers today,” said Andrea W. Armstrong, Director of Career Development. “This is a great success and we could not have done it without our community and campus business partners.”
Career development for FSDB students starts as early as three years old and continues until the age of 22.
According to Armstrong, the curriculum gives students first-hand experience with professionals from diverse industries and provides them opportunities to explore employment options available to them after graduation.
During the ceremony, three FSDB alumni Michelle Lamm, Chelsie Aguero and Joey Woods took to the stage to talk about how their Career Education Program experiences helped them with their current careers.
“FSDB has taught me a lot of important employability skills and to be an independent and
productive member of society,” said Michelle Lamm, a 2009 FSDB graduate who owns a piano-tuning business.
Larry Dodd, owner of Printing and Marketing Services in St Augustine, has sponsored seven students over the past five years. “This program has been a mutually beneficial experience and very inspiring,” he said.
Other campus and community nominees that were also recognized include: Café Alcazar; Tibbs Tees; The Greenery; Winn Dixie S., Store #77; Lorelee Bundrick of the FSDB Print Shop; Mona Burks of the FSDB Food Service; and the FSDB Early Learning Center.