A person’s path to employment can be complex, especially for those with disabilities. Summit DD understands that while some people are ready to jump right into the workforce, others may want to learn more about concepts and expectations before taking the next step. To meet people where they are, Summit DD’s Community Supports and Development team partnered with the local day program provider, Teammates to offer a program called Employment Engagement. These on-site employment learning sessions help participants gain knowledge in a familiar environment, so they can then make informed decisions about their own path to employment.
About the Employment Engagement Program
The Employment Engagement Program is a six-month program comprised of hands-on, learning labs that focus on key areas. In addition to helping participants understand the path to employment and identify areas of interests, the program focuses on exploring essential workplace qualities such as: communication, enthusiasm/attitude, teamwork, networking, problem solving/critical thinking, and professionalism.
“We understand that there are many individuals who may be uncertain about employment and what it entails, but are interested in learning more,” shared Community Resource Specialist, Jenna Ashley about the Employment Engagement program. “These labs provide an opportunity for participants to explore their skills and interests and gain insight into how they can best apply them to various career paths.”
Ashley went on to explain that while Summit DD creates the content, it is certainly a team effort. Teammates provides supervision during the sessions and any transportation needed for on-site tours, as well as support needed after the sessions.
The program has been met with positive feedback from participants. One participant shared, “I like the social aspect. It helps me get ready for the future.” Another remarked, “I like new experiences and learning new stuff.” Above all, participants shared the opinion that the program helped them feel more confident about finding a job.
Once the program is completed, the Community Supports and Development team works closely with any participants interested in pursuing employment and their SSAs to begin a job search based on their skills and interests.
This team approach of providers, the CSD team, employers, and SSAs helps support the whole person. It supports a person’s needs from the beginning of the process and can continue to through on-the-job coaching if needed.
The Employment Engagement Program creates a knowledge foundation for those at the beginning of their employment journey. It also provides the confidence for people to take their next step. “Participants will have a clearer picture of their career goals and a roadmap to achieve them,” Ashley concluded.
Learn More About Employment
Interested in learning more about the Employment Engagement program? Please contact Manager Jan Dougherty.