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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Chantilly High School Partner Securis Wins Business Award from Council for Exceptional Children

Securis, a local business that provides green alternatives to the electronic asset management dilemma and related security issues, has been recognized by the Council for Exceptional Children with its 2013 Business Award for its work with Chantilly High School’s Work Awareness and Transition (WAT) and Education for Employment (EFE) classes. Chantilly High School is a Fairfax County public school.

The WAT and EFE classes prepare special education students for the world of work through on-the-job experience and social skill training. For the past eight years, Securis employees have worked closely with Chantilly High WAT and EFE students and teachers, designing training positions that meet the needs of the electronics-computer recycling industry while capitalizing on students’ strengths and needs. Through the WAT and EFE program, students participate in an internship on-site at Securis to gain work experience. During the 2011-12 school year, six WAT and three EFE students worked at Securis, where they learned how to disassemble computers for recycling using a variety of tools. The staff members and students worked side-by-side, with staff members making the extra effort to help students feel they are part of the business community at the company.

Securis operations manager Andrew Portare holds weekly mini-seminars for WAT students, based on the program’s curriculum and the students’ individual needs and goals. The seminars cover information about the company, social skills, and business etiquette. Portare also helped prepare students for mock interviews, created a training video on the steps needed to disassemble computers, and was interviewed by the journalism class about the company. Securis also provides guest speakers, worksite field trips, and job shadowing for students. 

In past years, Securis has provided summer employment for some of the WAT students who served internships. The company has also provided financial donations to help Chantilly High host a business partner open house at the beginning of the school year, allowing the students an opportunity to get to know employees before starting their internship experience.

One former intern praised the company for helping students to “feel calm and encouraged” and said that the training and support she received have helped her become a technician and inventor.

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Note: For more information, contact Sue Collins at 703-222-7411 or smcollins@fcps.edu.