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A First Job for Bayley

Bayley at 5 Below (1).jpg

First accomplishments are always cause for celebration and Bayley McCloud’s first job is being celebrated by more than just family and friends. That’s because this 16-year-old is the first student employed as a result of Skill-Building for Transition, a new IEP service offered by the Belmont County Board of DD and the East Central Ohio ESC.

Student 14 and older who enroll are given meaningful life and work experiences while still in high school. More than a dozen businesses, including discount retailers, hotels, gas stations, restaurants and gyms are Skill-Building work site partners.

“This is a chance for teens to discover their interests and abilities,” said Transition Specialist Katie Fischerkeller, who, along with assistant Becky Robey, make up the Skill-Building team.

Transition planning for youth is extremely important and this new support is a stepping stone to competitive employment after graduation. Referrals are made by the school districts and there are 18 students currently enrolled. Katie lights up when talking about the success she is seeing among them, especially Bayley, who attends Union Local High School. 

“Bayley was quite shy and wouldn’t talk at first,” Katie said.

Thanks to a welcoming staff at 5 Below at the Ohio Valley Mall, it didn’t take long before Bayley exceeded expectations. She began working the front of the store, hanging up clothes and doing other merchandising tasks. She was soon smiling and cheerfully greeting customers at the door with the required, “Welcome to 5 Below!”

When the store began interviewing for positions late last year, Bayley went on an interview and was offered a job. She smiles broadly when remembering the email she received telling her that she got it.

Bayley has learned a lot and she offers other teens looking for work good advice: “Do a good job!”

Katie knows there are more good things to come for Bayley and the other teens engaged in Skill-Building for Transition. Information on this new service can be obtained by contacting Katie at 740-359-1478 or email

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