Saturday, June 9, 2012

Graylyn Honored By State Association

Graylyn Conference Center was honored recently for its efforts to promote and provide employment opportunities to students with developmental disabilities.

The Council for Exceptional Children North Carolina Division on Career Development and Transition is responsible for the statewide award. It recognized Graylyn's longstanding commitment to working with exceptional children through the Community-Based Vocational Training Program of the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools. Management at Graylyn has committed resources, staff and time to train students and allow them to explore careers in the food and banquet industries.

“The staff and management at Graylyn have always treated our students with respect,” said Sandra Courtner,  a job coach in the Occupational Course of Study Program for the W-S/FC Schools, in a press release. “They give them the extra time to learn the skills required to perform their job duties. The supervisors show tremendous patience when training the students and take extra time if needed to help them do their best.”

The program places a new crew of students at Graylyn each semester, with the center holding a minimum of three positions for Occupational Course of Study students. The students are paid and receive credit toward a high school diploma. Students work in a variety of roles, including set-up, groundskeeping, laundry, housekeeping, buffet attendants and kitchen assistants.

A student works in the kitchen.
Photo: Wake Forest
Seven former students have received job offers for permanent positions, and two former students are currently employed at the conference center.

Courtner said Graylyn gives students more than just an opportunity to experience life in the working world: “The entire staff welcomes the students and treats them as co-workers and equals, providing natural support as they learn technical skills and become more employable," she said.

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