National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a great time to celebrate the impact that people of all abilities are making in the workforce. However, that preparation starts long before a person shows up for their first day on the job. Thankfully, Summit DD is there to help teens with disabilities begin that preparation for their future careers.
For the third year in a row, Summit DD has worked with the Summit County Department of Job and Family Services (DJFS) to provide summer employment opportunities for teens with disabilities between the ages of 14 and 22.
“Kids are getting experience in community-based work-settings,” Summit DD’s Manager of Community Supports & Development, Jacquie Owens noted about the program. “The experience helps to better prepare them for life after school.”
During the summer, 80 students worked approximately 1,600 hours at businesses throughout Summit County. A variety of local retail businesses, hospitals, landscaping, and city government organizations participated in the popular summer youth program.
The program included transportation and on-site job coaching for the students. Above all, they had the opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable experience and work on their resumes. Owens noted that this experience operates on the same principle as summer jobs for teens without disabilities would. “This comes at a typical age where kids are learning about work, and also getting the experience that will help them down the road.”
Interested in participating next summer?
Because of its popularity, Owens shared the two organizations intend to bring the program back for summer 2020 . Look for information on how to apply for the program early next year on Summit DD’s website or contact your SSA.
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