education PROGRAMS

Explore Work

Interactive curriculum designed to help individuals learn more about work and the opportunities available in five modules: career planning and job exploration, your first work experience, school beyond high school, workplace readiness, and self-advocacy.

NBT Inclusion Manufacturing Camp

NBT Inclusion Manufacturing Camp, hosted by VPI is a 4-week long manufacturing camp for individuals with disabilities age 16 and over. During the camp, VPI staff will facilitate interactive activities designed to improve “soft” skills, help individuals gain confidence in their abilities, and explore careers in various manufacturing environments. Participants will also participate in a paid work experience on a variety of VPI production lines to develop the “hard” skills needed for these manufacturing jobs. The program is fully funded by the Nuts, Bolts, and Thingamajigs Foundation so there is no cost to participants. Open to ages 16+.

Get an inside look into the camp in WBAY’s news story or read more in this article by The Business News.

Learn about how NBT Manufacturing Camps have impacted over 16,500 students of varying abilities in this short video from the Fabricators and Manufacturers Association.

Project SEARCH

Hosted at Ascension St. Elizabeth Hospital, Project SEARCH is a national, academic, business-led transition program that prepares high school graduates with disabilities for success in competitive, integrated employment. Project SEARCH features classroom instruction hands-on training through three 10-week internships in different areas of the hospital. Open to Appleton Area School District students.

Riverside Café at the Neenah-Menasha YMCA

VPI’s Riverside Café at the Neenah-Menasha YMCA provides individuals the opportunity to train for retail and restaurant work in a community setting. This program is a stepping stone for individuals interested in community employment, who would benefit from a structured and supportive setting, while working on increasing strengths, improving skill sets, and decreasing barriers to employment.

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School District Transition Services

Individualized program where students work one-on-one with an Employment Specialist for career exploration and to develop resumes, complete mock interviews, and work on job applications. Employment Specialists connect with local employers to make a good job match for both the client and the employer. This program supports both volunteer work and community employment. Open to Appleton Area School District and Neenah Joint School District students.

Skills For Work

Skills for Work is a fall/spring semester-long program consisting of 2 weeks of classroom activities including Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum, job readiness (mock interviews, resume writing) and 5 job shadows. Students then complete two unique 8-week internships at a community employer. Open to ages 14-24. Scholarships available.

Program hosted by:


Skills to Pay the Bills

VPI staff facilitate a curriculum focused on teaching soft skills in six modules: communication, enthusiasm and attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving and critical thinking, and professionalism. Offered individually or in a group setting.

Summer Employment Skills Training

This 4-week program is designed for high school students with limited experience in the world of work. Students will complete 2 weeks of classroom instruction featuring the Skills to Pay the Bills curriculum, job preparation, (resumes, mock interviews, job applications) and job shadows. Students conclude the program with a 2-week internship at a community employer.

Thrive Career Academy

This 12-week program, hosted by UW-Oshkosh Fox Cities, teaches work-related soft skills such as self-determination, meeting employer expectations, positive attitude, doing your job well, getting along with others, managing yourself, and being a professional. Students also participate in the Strong Bodies program, which aims to improve physical stamina, balance, and flexibility. Open to any age.

Contracted Funding Partners

Supported in part by United Way Fox Cities 

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Interested in learning more about our packaging solutions or one of our community programs? Contact us today to learn more!

Valley Packaging Industries, Inc., DBA VPI, Inc. is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Our tax identification number is 39-0921632.
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