Mayland Life Skills/Works Skills Program a Success

The following was written by Mrs. Wanda King. Darrin and Wanda are owners of Western Sizzlin' Steakhouse in Spruce Pine, where the Kings currently support the Mayland Community College Life Skills and Work Skills Academy programs by employing a graduate from those programs.  The Life Skills and Work Skills Academy Programs offer FREE classes to adults with mild to moderate intellectual disabilities or similar barriers.  Students participating in these programs are provided with the opportunity to develop and strengthen their independent life skills, employability skills, academic skills, and community involvement.
 At Western Sizzlin' Steak House in Spruce Pine, we feel very fortunate to have a young gentleman on our staff who graduated from the Mayland Community College Life Skills/Work Skills Academy programs. The young man's Life Coach introduced him to us and kept the initial training guidelines clear and simple for both the student-worker and for us, the employer.  The coach checked on the student periodically, and after training sessions were successfully completed, the young man was left alone to perform his assigned tasks. It was soon evident that this young intern just needed an employer to believe in him and a chance to prove himself and gain confidence.  We are glad that his work-experience began with Western Sizzlin, for it has been a win-win for everyone.
This fine, well-mannered young employee has now been an employee with us for over a year. During this time, he has become one of our strongest, most dependable and respected leaders in his work area.  He is a very hard worker and a fast-learner with a positive, grateful attitude.  Through his work experience with Western Sizzlin', we have seen him gain both important leadership skills and additional self-assurance.
We are extremely thankful that the Life Skills and Work Skills Academy Life Coach concluded that our company would be a "good fit" for this young man, for his time with us has been a learning and rewarding employee experience for him, as well as a positive, satisfying experience for us, his employer. Indeed, our team at Western Sizzlin is stronger because this Life Skills/Work Skills Academy graduate is a member of our staff.
We sincerely appreciate our Western Sizzlin' 17 year partnership with the Adult Education Programs at Mayland Community College.  We have learned first-hand how vitally important the Life Skills programs are to their young adult student-participants and their future, as well as being an asset to our local employers and our community at large.
For more information about the Mayland Community College Life Skills and Work Skills Academy Programs, please contact Virginia Alvarado at 828-766-1329, or

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