Transition Work-Based Learning (TWBL) Model in Maine

Visually impaired apprentice and mentor at computer

Disability employment for adults is key to creating a valuable and inclusive workforce. Equally important is supporting high school students with disabilities who will enter the workforce or postsecondary education.  

The Maine Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, supported by a five-year grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Rehabilitation Services Administration, implemented the Transition Work-Based Learning (TWBL) model. The project examined the alignment of two interventions that serve students with disabilities: Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG), which supports middle and high school students as they prepare for college and careers, and Progressive Employment, which expands vocational rehabilitation relationships with employers through community-based strategies.

Implementation and Impact Evaluations

AIR conducted an implementation evaluation and an impact evaluation of the two interventions. The Progressive Employment intervention was implemented and evaluated in two sites (Augusta and Bangor), and the e-JMG was implemented statewide (building upon the existing JMG model in schools and expanding the model to new schools). Additionally, both interventions were implemented collaboratively in Bangor, with active cross-referrals and coordination in activities. 

As the independent evaluator, AIR conducted an evaluation of the TWBL model to test whether a model of work-based learning improves competitive integrated employment for transition age youth with disabilities. In the implementation evaluation, AIR’s team conducted a mixed-methods qualitative and quantitative data collection and analysis to monitor implementation process and progress. In the impact evaluation, the team employed quasi-experimental designs to assess the impact of Jobs for Maine Graduates and Progressive Employment. The project concluded in September 2021.