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Community-Based Vocational Assessment & Training

Providing work-based learning opportunities for students with disabilities

The Community-Based Vocational Assessment and Training (CBVAT) program provides work-based learning opportunities for students with disabilities to acquire entry-level skills to competently transition from school to community. Students develop communication skills through work exploration experiences, so they may engage in a lifetime of learning.

Students have the opportunity to:

  • Complete informal vocation assessments to identify interests, strengths, and learning needs;
  • Participate in the program work center to learn basic work skills, behaviors, and attitudes;
  • Complete contracted work from vendors to gain work-based learning experiences; and
  • Work during the school day at various job sites and volunteer opportunities within the community or in district schools.

In the Practical Assessment Exploration System (PAES), students will explore career areas, acquire basic work skills, and learn basic money management. The lab helps students to identify their occupational interests and strengths, and work behaviors, rate and quality. Work tasks in the areas of business/marketing, computer/technology, construction/industrial, processing/production and customer service are offered. The lab helps students to prepare for and succeed in today’s workplace.

Way to Grow Testimonial
Parent, Kris

CBVAT has been a great program for our daughter to be a part of.  When she began in the program, because of COVID, it was all virtual.  However, the staff was WONDERFUL in finding projects and jobs that really peaked our daughter’s interests and tapped into her strengths and she was able to participate from home.  She now attends in person and everyone at CBVAT has been so attentive to her wishes and desires and have strived to help her meet them.  Our daughter has enjoyed attending the CBVAT program and it has truly helped in building her confidence and independence.  Thank you to the amazing staff at CBVAT!


Parent of Max

The CBVAT program at Maple Grove High School was instrumental in helping our son Max get a job at Hy-Vee. Their guidance of being on sight with him during the early days of his employment was crucial to making him feel comfortable that he could do the job as a front-end bagger and cart collector. As time went on, they gradually allowed Max to be more independent and after 2 years at Hy-Vee, he is considered a very reliable and valuable worker for their Maple Grove store.

The CBVAT team knew exactly what Max would be good at and put him in the best position to succeed. Max really enjoys working at Hy-Vee and hopes to stay there for a long time.


Eastman Nature Center

CBVAT has been a part of Eastman Nature Center’s animal care for as long as I have been here. The students come out twice a week and get to experience the less glamorous aspects of caring for animals used in education. They scrub tanks, clean filters, and feed the animals. I have always been able to rely on the students to show genuine care for the animals, often times seeking out more work than what they have been assigned. In the summer, when the CBVAT students are on break there is a huge difference in my workload trying to keep the tanks as clean as the students do. I could not manage all of the animals we have at Eastman without the work from these amazing students.

-Brandon, Interpretive Naturalist, Three Rivers Park District Eastman Nature Center, CBVAT partner since 1994

Kathy H. M.

I have been working with the Osseo School District CBVAT for over a year. It has been a fabulous experience! Working with the staff they are very professional and pay great attention to details. They have worked with me to meet deadlines and have come through every time. Choosing to work with the lab has been a big benefit to my business and I would highly recommend them.

I have a daughter who was a student at this lab and the skills that she gained during her time here are helping her at her current job at Chick-Fil-A. Knowing that you are supporting this lab and helping the students there is just an added benefit. 

Kathy H. M.
Wordy Bird Card & Gift (partner and parent of former student)


Nicole Lucas
Work Experience Coordinator
Liaison to Maple Grove Senior High

Kayla Strei
Work Experience Coordinator
Liaison to Osseo Senior High

Eileen Baker
Work Experience Coordinator
Liaison to Park Center Senior High

Jess Kline
Work Experience Coordinator
PAES Lab Instructor

PC Clymer
Student Services Coordinator
Program Supervisor


ISD 279 Osseo Area Schools