Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS)


The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act of 2014 (WIOA) is the primary funding source and administrator of the public Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services programs in the United States.  In 2014 the WIOA set Montana’s Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services program and the rest of our nation’s public vocational rehabilitation agencies on a new path.

For more information about Vocational Rehabilitation Pre-ETS services click HERE or contact:

Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services
111 North Last Chance Gulch, Suite 4C
PO Box 4210
Helena, MT 59604-4210
1 (877) 296-1197 (toll-free consumer line)
(406) 444-2590 (voice/TTY)
(406) 444-3632 (fax)
Email: vrinfo@mt.gov

WIOA Fact Sheet from UMass Institute for Community Inclusion

Funding for Schools

In 2014 Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services was mandated by the Rehabilitation Services Administration to reserve 15% of its service budget to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services to students with disabilities in high school. As a result Vocational Rehabilitation and Blind Services began an initiative to contract with Montana school districts to provide Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). Your school may be eligible for funding under this initiative. The funding is based on the number of students served. Please refer to the Fee Schedule for an idea of the funds available for your school. (Fee Schedule link).

The intent of WIOA is to enhance the services available in school for students with disabilities. The contracts with VRBS are a means to provide funding for the creation and enhancement of transition-focused services for those students. These funds do not replace or reduce the school’s obligation to provide transition services as part of the IDEA.

Pre-ETS for students

The WIOA has two definitions for youth and students with disabilities. Youth with disabilities are described as those aged 14 to 24. Students with disabilities are defined as those aged 15 turning 16 in the academic year up to their exit from high school. The Pre-Employment Transition Services are a subset of VRBS services and are only provided to students with disabilities. However, regular Vocational Rehabilitation services are available to youth (14 – 24) through an Individualized Plan for Employment.

The contracts with schools for Pre-ETS services are specific to students with disabilities.

Description of the 5 Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS):

  • Job Exploration Counseling – explore the world of work, explore interests and abilities, work with a job mentor, shadow a job or career, investigate careers, etc.
    Examples for schools: career choice curriculum, mentoring programs, Discovery process, guest speakers, PEP Talk courses, teacher resources (texts, assessments, work books), attendance at career fairs and more.
  • Work-based learning experiences – get valuable work experience through paid or unpaid work, volunteer, complete an internship or begin the steps of an apprenticeship.
    Examples for schools:Wages paid to students for work experiences, internship projects, staff time for job coaching, in-school work experiences, transportation to and from work sites, curriculum costs, etc.
  • Counseling on opportunities for enrollment in comprehensive transition or post-secondary educational programs – for those students seeking further education after high school, this may include investigating career paths, referrals to college resources, campus visits among other activities.
    Examples for schools:program fees for the Movin’ On program at the University of Montana, transportation costs to attend career fairs, guest speakers from the University System, staff time to assist students with college related paperwork, STEM related curriculum and more.
  • Work Place Readiness – these are services to help you get ready for the challenges of work.  This may include training in soft skills, customer service, work place communication as well as peer mentoring, independent living skills, accessing transportation and self-advocacy.
    Examples for schools: soft skills curriculum or courses, work readiness teaching materials, peer mentoring program, soft skills classes through third parties, local employer panels, bus/transportation training, etc.
  • Instruction in Self Advocacy – These are services to help you understand more about yourself and how to interact with the world.
    Examples for schools: courses taught at an Independent Living Center, peer mentoring, self-advocacy, attendance at the Montana Youth Leadership Forum or Montana Youth Transitions Conference, peer or self-advocacy training materials, staff time for coordinating classes, curriculum purchase and other training opportunities.