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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford Technical Community College wants all students to feel welcome.

Part of its curriculum is taking a new step toward inclusiveness.

GTCC is offering a new program that will provide employment skills training for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

GTCC currently has classes for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities, but the POWER Pathways program emphasizes job readiness.

“They’re going to have a component where they’re working on interview skills, resume writing and kind of those soft skills needed to get a job and also to keep a job,” Dean of Adult Education Claire Ricci said.

This semester focuses on food service.

Each student will have the opportunity to take the ServSafe Food Handler certification exam.

“The idea is to earn an industry-recognized credential so that this is something they can put on their resume,” Ricci said.

“My thoughts are to help them to not to go into a restaurant and just wash dishes, or take out garbage, or wipe down tables, but to actually be able to assist,” said Natasha Ford, adult education instructor at GTCC.

The hope is that students can directly transfer their skills from the classroom into the workforce.

A Special Blend, a Greensboro coffee shop that employs people with disabilities, has an employee who is participating in POWER Pathways.

“Our employee who is going to take part loves the food service, loves to cook and bake, and so it’s just really cool to see him be able to go through that and take his knowledge one step further,” store manager Hannah Leigh said.

The goal moving forward is that POWER Pathways will have a different area of focus each semester.

Classes for the current semester begin Feb. 11 on both GTCC’s Greensboro and High Point campuses.

People can still register for the remaining openings on GTCC’s website.

Scholarships are also still available.