Practical Perspective: Pre-Employment Transition Services, Workplace Readiness Training


In each of this year’s Attainment blogs, I have been talking about the implementation of the WIOA Pre-Employment Transition Services (Pre-ETS). The five required activities are listed in our first blog. For additional information about WIOA or Pre-ETS, visit the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center website:


The fourth Pre-ETS focuses on workplace readiness traits that describe many common skills and behaviors that employers expect. Workplace readiness skills are sometimes referred to as soft skills, employability skills, or job readiness skills.

These abilities help students to learn how to interact with supervisors and coworkers, and understand that their behaviors can impact how others perceive them. The importance of timeliness, communicating effectively, and acting professionally are included. No matter what technical skills a job may require, every job requires social and interpersonal skills.

Social and Interpersonal Skills Include:

  • Communication
  • Positive attitude
  • Teamwork
  • Problem solving
  • Active listening
  • Conflict resolution
  • Professionalism
  • Good manners

Independent Living Skills Include:

  • Good hygiene and appropriate dress
  • Time management
  • Healthy lifestyle
  • Cell phone use
  • Money management
  • Nutrition and meal preparation
  • Accessing community services and supports
  • Civic responsibility
  • Community safety
  • Developing friendships
  • Public transportation


Workplace readiness training could also include...

  • Financial literacy
  • Orientation and mobility skills
  • Job-seeking skills
  • Understanding employer expectations for punctuality and performance
  • Other soft skills necessary for employment

Attainment Company has developed a curriculum that includes all skills listed above as part of our Pre-Employment Transition Solution. This curriculum will provide detailed lesson plans, PowerPoints, vocabulary, leveled activities, 13 additional Attainment Company products to support lessons, and collaborative and professional development resources.


Example Lesson Plan:

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Students will learn about payroll deductions.
  2. Student will learn to create weekly and monthly budgets.
  3. Students will learn about banking and how to open and use a checking account, savings account, and debit card.

Instructor Script: When you receive your first paycheck, you might be expecting a certain amount, but then you see a different number! When an employer offers you an hourly wage, that is not how much money you will bring home.  In this lesson, you will learn about gross and net pay, how to read a paycheck stub, and what deductions come from your pay. Let's get started!

  1. Project a paycheck stub from the web with examples of typical deductions.
  2. Explain the difference between gross and net pay.
  3. Review vocabulary: gross and net; FICA; FICA-MED; SWT or Fed; SWT or State; LT or local tax
  4. Have students find each numerical deduction from the sample paycheck projected on the board or on paper. Students may look at gross wages and subtract the taxes to understand how much is “take home” pay.
  5. Project a 2nd paycheck with additional deductions
  6. Review the following vocabulary: VAC - vacation; SICK or FL - family leave; INS- insurance or MED-medical; life insurance; FSA – Flexible Spending Account; 401K or RET – retirement
  7. Have the students find each of these numerical deductions from the sample paycheck projected on the board or on paper. In another lesson, the students will learn more about how to ask their employer for vacation, sick, or family leave time off appropriately.

Supplemental Activity Ideas: 

  • Ask a representative from the Human Resources Department to meet with your class to discuss how payroll is processed. Have this person describe new employee meetings including the needed paperwork for taxes and other deduction choices, and what types of benefits most businesses offer their employees, including co-pays.
  • Ask students to talk with their family members about what deductions are taken out of their own paychecks. This will give them an opportunity to understand how this impacts their family’s income (e.g., cost of health or dental insurance).
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