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THS Transitional Partnership Program equips students with confidence
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Students in the Transitional Partnership Program practice proper napkin etiquette at a luncheon with Ray Garcia and Erik Shulze of the City of Turlock Parks and Recreation Division.

Leaving the school system and entering the workforce can often pose challenges for students, especially those who lack exposure to the protocol expected in the professional sphere. However, numerous Turlock High School students will be entering the workforce ahead of the curve after an instrumental two-day etiquette lesson through the Transitional Partnership Program.

For the past 10 years the Transitional Partnership Program has provided Resource and Special Day students, those who are on track to enter the workforce straight out of high school, an event to familiarize themselves with proprietary expectations of employers. After a lesson on Tuesday that covered everything from the proper handshake to basic table manners, the students gathered at Two Guys on Broadway on Wednesday for a catered luncheon to practice the lessons they learned by etiquette educator and presenter Luann Alemao.

“This is an excellent opportunity for students to learn etiquette, how to dress and interview for jobs. It provides students access to information and skills, ultimately letting them go out and obtain a job,” said Turlock Unified School District superintendent Sonny DaMarto.

DaMarto was just one of the many business professionals at the luncheon strategically placed at each table to dialogue with students, providing the students an opportunity to put the lessons they learned into practice. From passing the water pitcher the correct direction to making eye contact while conversing, the luncheon proved helpful to the students and professionals alike. Representatives from the City of Turlock, Turlock Recycling and the Turlock Unified School District were present among others.

“Turlock Recycling has had a relationship with Kathy Smith and this program for years and events like this are great because it shows future generations putting time into their future,” said Jesse Marchant, administrator for Turlock Recycling.

As the transitional partnership job coach, Smith knows how important it is to equip students with not only job skills but the confidence to put them into practice. By providing students access to Alemao’s knowledge, students were not just told what to do but shown the instrumental lessons in a real world setting.

“This is a place to build relationships. It really is. The lessons you learn are secondary to building relationships,” said Alemao.