SISD School to Work Newsletter

May 2021 Issue #3

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What's New

Covenant Summer Project

Covenant Summer Project is getting ready to kick off again in June. This extraordinary partnership program provides 7 students in the county a paid internship opportunity working at Covenant HealthCare during the summer months. Students who are recommended and interested in participating are able to apply and interview for the positions available in the spring. The students that have been chosen this year will be working in various departments including: Linen, Nutrition Services, Environmental Services, and Recycling. Students are receiving hands on training and integrated directly into the Covenant community. From the Summer Project, students are eligible to apply for a year long internship program as an extension of the project. Check out the video below that highlights some success stories from the project.
Transition Center Students at Covenant HealthCare

Programs and Services

Pre-ETS (Pre-Employment Transition Services)

Pre-Employment Transition Services are available in Michigan to students with disabilities who are age 14-26 and accepted or enrolled in secondary or postsecondary education. Students must demonstrate an interest and need to receive the services. Students with Pre-ETS cases are typically in 9th or 10th grade. However, sometimes a student in SOAR or a high school student planning to attend SOAR will have a Pre-ETS case, if they are at least 2 or more years from exiting the public school system. Students may receive these services before or after applying to Michigan Rehabilitation Services or to the STW program. Pre-Employment Transition Services may include a variety of developmentally appropriate experiences designed to build an individual’s knowledge of and readiness for employment. Contact Pat Bray at for more information.

In Saginaw County, over 400 students have participated in Pre-ETS since the 2016-2017 school year.

STW Job Readiness

Job Readiness services prepare student participants to find, keep and excel at a new job. Basic employability skills include: effective communication, problem solving, resume building, interviewing and practical real world experiences in the community. This curriculum also helps participants develop good work habits that facilitate their ongoing success as they work toward independent, competitive employment in their local communities.

In the Spotlight

Theresa Hausbeck- Teacher Heritage High School

Theresa Hausbeck has been employed with Saginaw Township Community Schools for 30 years. She

has always been an advocate for teaching her freshman students pre-employment skills. With the help

of Terri Haswell and Pat Bray, her students are taught work readiness skills with the ultimate goal of

gaining actual work experience through summer employment while earning minimum wage.

With the School to Work program, her students learn employability skills that are necessary

for any job and also learn how to interact with employees and co-workers.

Ultimately, her students experience a boost in self-confidence through success at both

school and work.

“Many of the young adults graduating from Heritage High School are better equipped with

the skills they need to perform the jobs our modern competitive economy is creating. It

excites me to see how we have meshed together a very successful and integrated school to

work opportunity for our freshman students.”

Theresa enjoys spending the summer months in Frankfort fishing and boating on Lake


Erin Fowler- Student

Erin is a current student at the Transitions Center SOAR program. In November 2020, Erin was hired at HealthSource Saginaw as a dishwasher in the kitchen. Some of her job duties include: making coffee, washing dishes, & running carts with food to different locations across the building. She works about 20 hours a week and loves how busy the job is during her work shifts. She plans on continuing to work at HealthSource to learn new skills and train in other departments in the future. Keep up the great work, Erin!!

Deb Van Benschoten- STW Staff Member

With over 39 years’ experience in education, Deb van Benschoten is a seasoned veteran. She has dedicated her teaching career to working with Saginaw County students. For the past 15 years, she has served as shared staff between the Saginaw ISD and Michigan Rehabilitation Services. In this role, she has helped students to prepare for, secure, and find success in employment. She also works with students to help them develop plans to move forward with career goals after graduation. When asked about her favorite part of her job, Deb replied, “There is nothing more gratifying than seeing students build their confidence, and experience success in employment as well as other areas of their lives.”

Deb obtained her bachelor’s degree from MSU, with endorsements to teach K-12 Emotionally Impaired or K-8 General Education students. She continued her education at MSU and earned a master’s degree in Curriculum in Education and Teaching. Over the years, Deb has taught elementary, middle and high school level students. She also enjoyed seven years of teaching at the Holland Education Program for adolescents with severe emotional impairments.

Over her career, she has been able to work with countless amazing students, staff, and families. Deb has also had the support of family and friends. She raised two children and has two awesome grandkids, ages 2 and 5. Along with being the featured STW staff for this month’s newsletter, Deb and her husband Mark will celebrate their 40th anniversary this June.

HealthSource of Saginaw

Scott Basse is the Patient Service Manager at HealthSource Saginaw. In this leadership position, Scott oversees the day-to-day operations of the kitchen, as well as directing services for patients and managing performance of team members.

Throughout his 7-year career as a Patient Service Manager, Scott has personally overseen the hiring of over 15 students in his department. Scott says that he hires students from the School to Work program because he knows the type of experienced workers he will be getting, and it makes training much easier for him. When students are hired for a part-time position, they start at $11.61 an hour and are eligible for benefits after 90 days.

Scott believes in the School to Work mission, which is to guide students in gaining the skills necessary to make responsible decisions, and to lead independent, productive adult lives.

"We have an average of 2-3 students each year participate in the School to Work program,” Scott said. “We’ve hired approximately 15 students over the last 7 years; 8 are still working for us. The others have gone on to other jobs. Seniority dates range from a year to 7 years of service. It's a win/win situation for both the students and HealthSource.” Scott added, “The students are very loyal to HealthSource and many have become long term team members. This is a great honor for all of us at HealthSource”. In addition he stated, “To have this great School to Work program and employer relationship; we all agree that these students are our future and are willing to make a commitment to their future."

Thanks to Scott and his benevolent staff for continuing to give students invaluable opportunities for growth and success.


Disability Network

Disability Network of Mid-Michigan has been an excellent community partner in Saginaw County. DNMM works to support students with disabilities through a variety of services that include: independent living support, in home services, independent living skill building, advocacy, and more!

Disability Network has a strong partnership with the Saginaw ISD and the School to Work team. DNMM supports students who are receiving on the job training at various employers across Mid-Michigan, helps to coordinate job shadow experiences, provides work readiness training in schools throughout the county, and partners with the School to Work team to coordinate visits to post-secondary institutions.

Check out the link below for more information about this outstanding partner!

MTSA (Michigan Transition Services Association)

Michigan Transition Services Association is dedicated to providing support to members who assist students and young adults with disabilities as they transition through school to achieve their post-school goals. ​​MTSA’s vision is to respond to the needs of its members through leadership, support and service to help students transition into independent life.

Click on the link below to learn more about MTSA, resources available for transition, and ways to get involved with the association!

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