Matthew Combes’ day did not start like most of his classmates’. Instead of heading to class Thursday morning, the senior at Adair County High School went to work at Joe Brown Auto Body Repair, just as he had the day prior and the day before that. Under ACHS’ Community Work Transition Program (CWTP) – which aims to develop skills and find employment opportunities for exceptional students – Combes works from 8 a.m. until noon, and then heads back to school.
“Matt’s eating it up – he loves it,” says Jim Leib, the district’s employment specialist. “It’s something he can really grow into. That’s what this whole program is about: Getting kids out to see what kind of opportunities there are.”
The shop’s owner, Joe Brown, says that he has been impressed with Combes’ attitude and is happy to work with CWTP. “Matt’s doing great,” Brown says. “He’s just doing the basics right now, picking up and getting things ready to paint – that kind of thing. I don’t have to stay on him to work and he seems like a real good kid.”
For his part, Combes says he’s enjoying the opportunity to develop new skills and gain work experience. “I like it a lot so far,” Combes says. “I think I’ve learned quite a bit.”
Leib wishes to thank Brown for his willingness to work with CWTP, and encourages anyone else who would like to get involved in the program to let him know. “We’re thankful to Joe for giving us this opportunity to form a partnership, and we hope to establish even more of these partnerships going forward,” Leib says. “If anyone else wants to participate, I want them to call me.” Leib can be reached at (270) 634 0532.
By Wes Feese
Media Relations, Adair County Schools