The Arc of Mercer County believes that having a job gives a person purpose, dignity, and independence. MCAR’s
Pre-Vocation Training program focuses on helping individuals develop work skills that can lead to paid
We start with a complete assessment of an individual’s job interests and capabilities. We determine the best way
to teach him new skills. Then we introduce him to the Practical Assessment Exploration System – known as PAES.
What is PAES?
PAES is a way of training individuals with disabilities for jobs. It was designed specifically for people with
intellectual and developmental disabilities and the ways they learn. PAES uses suitable and adapted methods that
help them learn different job skills. No matter what their functioning level is, individuals are able to learn
about many different jobs and what skills they need to do those jobs. Individuals also gain an understanding of
what it’s like to work in the real world.
In the PAES curriculum, individuals take on the role of employee and develop job skills through hands-on tasks
that are just like real-world job requirements. Individuals punch a time clock to begin their “job” of learning.
They become responsible for getting the materials and equipment they need to complete that day’s job assignment.
They are encouraged to solve any problems themselves before asking their “boss” (a MCAR Pre-Vocation Training staff
person) for help. And just like the real world, individuals earn “money bucks” as they progress through the skill
In this way, individuals develop valuable job skills. They also gain an understanding of task completion, work
ethics and behavior, cooperation, problem solving, safety, and dependability.
Being exposed to a different job tasks, individuals are able to realize what kinds of jobs they might like in
the competitive workforce. Through PAES, they develop self-reliance, self-esteem, and independence. After
completing PAES, individuals have the skills they need to find a job in the community.
Contact our PAES Program Coordinator at 724-981-2950 x 221 for more information.