What We Do
Workforce Development is a program for 18-21 year old transitional students. It provides opportunities for students to gain independent living skills, social skills, employment, and self advocacy in real life settings and to participate in age-appropriate activities in their communities. These services ideally are located outside of the high school, in community settings such as vocational-technical colleges, house/apartments, offices, and/ or businesses. Our classroom setting is located in the Lincoln Building.

The reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) in 1990 and the subsequent reauthorizations, including the latest in 2007, mandate school districts to provide transition services for students with disabilities in order to improve post-school outcomes. To help meet the transition requirements, our district has developed community based transition options. These services are designed to support students who typically need to continue to work on their transition goals.


The Workforce Development Program is a Rapid City Area Schools Voluntary program for young adults 18-21. It is designed to assist in making connections with adult service providers and providing special education transition services that enable students to lead productive and independent lives. Students interested in this program typically are:

  • RCAS students with a disability age 18-21
  • Students that have completed their academic requirements for graduation at their home high school and continue to have unmet IEP transition goals
  • Students that qualify for Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Students that:
    • Have the ability to develop independent work with employment, and academics
    • Have Independent self-care
    • Are capable of being left alone for an amount of time without supervision
    • Have no safety concerns in the community setting
    • Can communicate basic needs
    • Have some work/volunteer experience
    • Have good attendance


Life and Workplace Readiness Course Guidebook 2021-2022

Want to know what the students at Workforce Development have been up to??? Click on their newsletters.

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Workforce April

May 2021


Staff at the Jefferson Building wore purple t-shirts to promote Inclusion. Next year t-shirts will be available to those in the district who want to join in and be part of the movement.

Why are we asking our youth and the general public to Spread the Word >> Inclusion? Because respectful and inclusive words and actions are essential to the dignity and humanity of people with intellectual disabilities. Language affects attitudes. Attitudes impact actions. We’ve made great strides toward a truly inclusive world, but there is still much work to be done. Spread the Word >> Inclusion is an annual event celebrated the first Wednesday in March. This year, 171 South Dakota schools will engage in activities on or around March 3, 2021. Special Olympics South Dakota, in partnership with our sponsors, supplied banners, posters and event merchandise to these schools free of charge. We anticipate 25,000 South Dakota students will take the pledge to work toward a more inclusive world. The general public is also invited to pledge at www.spreadtheword.global Share your pledge on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook by using #(TBD) and invite others to join you. The resolution for inclusion starts with you.

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Meet the Staff at Workforce Development


Workforce Development Contacts
Name Title Email
Lillie Pendleton K-12 Special Education Email Lillie
Kaitlyn Wald K-12 Special Education Email Kaitlyn
Marian Alexander Paraprofessional Email Marian
Carrie Lange ParaPro (Sped) Email Carrie
Heather Steinback ParaPro (Sped) Email Heather
Karen Wechsler ParaPro (Sped) Email Karen